PTPA defends Russian and Belarusian players excluded from Wimbledon

“We have to understand that many of them have lost their freedom of choice and expression with the tightening of laws by Russia and Belarus. Speaking out against Russia or Belarus or denouncing the invasion can be punished by imprisonment,” recalls the PTPA. Prior to the Wimbledon announcement, Ukrainian players, including Elina Svitolina, had called for the blanket exclusion of Russians and Belarusians if they did not answer three written questions about their position on the war and the regimes of Vladimir Putin and Alexander Lukashenko. The PTPA also recalled that it “denounced” the invasion of Ukraine. The WTA has warned that it could impose sanctions against Wimbledon if the ban is upheld.