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Wimbledon and LTA ban Russian and Belarusian players from competing at All England Club

Wimbledon and LTA ban Russian and Belarusian players from competing at All England Club

Russian and Belarusian players have also been banned from LTA grass court tournaments this summer; US Open champion Daniil Medvedev, men’s world number eight Andrey Rublev and women’s fourth-ranked Aryna Sabalenka will be banned from featuring at Wimbledon under the ruling

Russian and Belarusian players will be banned from competing at this year’s Wimbledon.

The All England Club made the announcement on Wednesday, ruling out US Open champion Daniil Medvedev, men’s world number eight Andrey Rublev and women’s fourth-ranked Aryna Sabalenka from featuring in the Grand Slam.

Medvedev reached the fourth round of Wimbledon last year, while Sabalenka was a beaten semi-finalist.

Russian world number 15 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Belarus’ Victoria Azarenka – a two-time Australian Open champion – will also miss out.

Russian and Belarusian players have also been banned from LTA grass court tournaments this summer.

The All England Club said in a statement: “We share in the universal condemnation of Russia’s illegal actions and have carefully considered the situation in the context of our duties to the players, to our community and to the broader UK public as a British sporting institution.”

The statement went on to say: “If circumstances change materially between now and June, we will consider and respond accordingly.”

Ian Hewitt, chairman of the All England Club, said: “We recognise that this is hard on the individuals affected, and it is with sadness that they will suffer for the actions of the leaders of the Russian regime.

“We have very carefully considered the alternative measures that might be taken within the UK Government guidance but, given the high profile environment of The Championships, the importance of not allowing sport to be used to promote the Russian regime and our broader concerns for public and player (including family) safety, we do not believe it is viable to proceed on any other basis at The Championships.”

Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston welcomed the “decisive action” taken by Wimbledon, saying: “The UK has taken a leading role internationally to make clear that President Putin must not be able to use sport to legitimise Russia’s barbaric invasion of Ukraine.

“Whilst the withdrawal of individual athletes is a complex issue that will divide opinion, there is a bigger cause at stake.

“We have set out our position with sport governing bodies and event organisers and will continue to encourage them to take appropriate action for their sport.”

The Kremlin said on Wednesday a ban on Russian players would hurt Wimbledon itself given Russia’s tennis prowess and was “unacceptable”.

“Given that Russia is a strong tennis country the competitions [which take this decision] will suffer from this,” Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters on a conference call.

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