Tue, 06 Jun 2023

Wimbledon lifts ban on players from Russia, Belarus

Field Level Media
01 Apr 2023, 07:05 GMT+10

Wimbledon lifted its ban on players from Russia and Belarus on Friday, confirming they will be allowed to compete as "neutral" athletes.

Players including Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev of Russia and Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus, who were barred from the grass-court grand slam event last year, will have to comply with certain conditions amid the ongoing war in Ukraine.

The All England Club said Russian and Belarusian players are prohibited from expressing support for Russia's 2022 invasion of Ukraine. Competitors who still receive funding from those countries, including sponsorships from state-controlled companies, will remain banned.

"We continue to condemn totally Russia's illegal invasion and our wholehearted support remains with the people of Ukraine," said Ian Hewitt, chairman of the All England Club. "This was an incredibly difficult decision, not taken lightly or without a great deal of consideration for those who will be impacted.

"It is our view that, considering all factors, these are the most appropriate arrangements for The Championships for this year. We are thankful for the Government's support as we and our fellow tennis stakeholder bodies have navigated this complex matter and agreed on conditions we believe are workable."

Medvedev expressed that he was pleased with the decision and looking forward to being back at the All England Club.

"I always said if I can play Wimbledon, I'll be real happy to be there," Medvedev said after reaching the Miami Open finals on Friday. "That's the only (Grand) Slam where I haven't been in quarters yet. ... I really want to do well there. It's a beautiful tournament. Yes, I'm happy I have a chance to play this year."

The action at Wimbledon runs from July 3-16. The defending champions in singles are Serbia's Novak Djokovic and Kazakhstan's Elena Rybakina.

--Field Level Media

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