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Wimbledon defends Russian, Belarusian ban amid WTA and ATP penalties

Wimbledon

London, May 21: The All England Club was disappointed by the penalties dished out by the ATP, WTA and ITF ahead of Wimbledon.

The season's third major will not have any ranking points after tennis' governing bodies decided to punish the grand slam's organisers for banning Russian and Belarusian athletes.

That decision from the All England Club was made in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

However, Wimbledon's organisers have now hit out at the three governing bodies.

A statement began: "Given the position taken by the UK government to limit Russia's global influence, which removed automatic entry by ranking, and the widespread response of government, industry, sport and creative institutions, we remain of the view that we have made the only viable decision for Wimbledon as a globally renowned sporting event and British institution, and we stand by the decision we have made.

"We were not prepared to take any actions that could risk the personal safety of players or their families. We believe that requiring written declarations from individual players – and that would apply to all relevant players – as a condition of entry in the high-profile circumstances of Wimbledon would carry significant scrutiny and risk.

"In addition, we remain unwilling to accept success or participation at Wimbledon being used to benefit the propaganda machine of the Russian regime, which, through its closely controlled State media, has an acknowledged history of using sporting success to support a triumphant narrative to the Russian people.

"We therefore wish to state our deep disappointment at the decisions taken by the ATP, WTA and ITF in removing ranking points for the championships. We believe these decisions to be disproportionate in the context of the exceptional and extreme circumstances of this situation and the position we found ourselves in, and damaging to all players who compete on Tour."

The statement added that the All England Club was "considering [its] options" while also communicating with organisers of the other grand slams.

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Story first published: Saturday, May 21, 2022, 1:50 [IST]
Other articles published on May 21, 2022