Wimbledon: the Kremlin up against a possible exclusion of Russian and Belarusian players – franceinfo

Even before a formalization of the All England Club which organizes the Wimbledon tournament, the third Grand Slam of the season, Russia condemned a possible ban on participation hitting Russian and Belarusian players, Wednesday April 20. “Once again, they are holding athletes hostage to political prejudices, political intrigues (…) This is unacceptable,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said after the position was revealed in the British press. Will we see Russian Daniil Medvedev, current world No.2, and Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka, semi-finalist in 2021, at Wimbledon this year? According to information from the British daily The Times and the BBC, confirmed by a Franceinfo source, the organizers wish to exclude Russian and Belarusian players due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. So far, since the start of the Russian offensive on February 24, Russian and Belarusian players have been able to continue to participate in ATP and WTA competitions under a neutral flag. This device was supposed to extend to the three Grand Slam tournaments still to be played in 2022, while the International Federation (ITF) had banned teams from both countries from participating in the Davis Cup and the Billie Jean King Cup (ex- FedCup). Russian and Belarusian players will not be allowed to compete at Wimbledon this year because of the invasion of Ukraine.More ⬇️#BBCTennis — BBC Sport (@BBCSport) April 20, 2022 The British press announces, after almost two months of talks, that the organizers of Wimbledon should prohibit the participation of Russian and Belarusian players rather than adhere to a compromise solution proposed by the British government which asked tennismen and tenniswomen to sign a statement that they would not make comments favorable to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Wimbledon preferred the total ban considering that signing such declarations could have a negative impact on the families of the players. These sanctions could extend to all UK grass-court tournaments this summer. The Lawn Tennis Association (LTA), which oversees major Wimbledon warm-up tournaments such as Queen’s and Eastbourne, said last week it would follow Wimbledon’s lead. “We think that from a public point of view and from a practical implementation point of view, there needs to be an alignment (between the All England Club and the LTA, editor’s note), for it to be really clear and understood,” said Scott Lloyd. , CEO of the LTA. “It is of paramount importance.” The Kremlin has already reacted via its spokesman Dmitri Peskov who indicated that it would be “unacceptable” to ban Russian tennis players from taking part in the London tournament. “Since Russia is a very strong country in tennis, with our athletes at the top of the world rankings, their exclusion will have an impact on the competition itself,” he said.