British Tennis Association allowed Russians and Belarusians to Wimbledon

Artem Budrin16:24, 03/31/23

Last year, representatives of terrorist countries could not compete in this Grand Slam tournament.

The British Tennis Association has allowed athletes from Russia and Belarus to compete at Wimbledon 2023. according to the LTA report , tennis players will be able to take part in the Grand Slam tournament under a neutral flag.

Last April, the British Tennis Association (LTA) banned all players from Russia and Belarus from participating in tennis tournaments in the country. With this move, the LTA wanted to send “a clear signal to the Russian and Belarusian states that their actions in Ukraine are the subject of international condemnation.”

The association does not deviate from its ideas, however, under pressure, it is forced to reduce restrictions.

“We still believe that this was the right course of action and we want to thank everyone who supported it. A year has passed and the suffering of the people of Ukraine as a result of the war in their country does not stop. Problems in tennis or sports are relatively minor.

However, our decision last year to ban Russian and Belarusian players from our tournaments resulted in significant sanctions imposed on us by the ATP and WTA tours, including the real prospect of our membership being terminated if we repeat the ban in 2023,” the association said in a statement.

Note that due to last year’s decision, the LTA received a £1.6 million fine, as well as a threat to be expelled from international tennis organizations. A repeat move this season could further aggravate the situation in British tennis, in particular the cancellation of competitions in Queens, Eastbourne, Birmingham and Nottingham this year and next.

In this regard, the LTA decided to allow Russian and Belarusian players, however, they will have to sign declarations of neutrality. Including the non-use of pro-Russian, Belarusian or pro-war symbols.

“This new declaration will be in effect at all LTA events from the start of the grass court season in Surbiton. Compliance with player neutrality declarations will be governed and enforced by the tours.

There will also be a zero tolerance approach to any flags, symbols or other activities that support Russia, Belarus or the war from anyone on our venues, including players and spectators,” the report says.

The British Tennis Association stressed that it will continue to support the Ukrainian people in the future.

Note that Wimbledon 2022 was the only Grand Slam tournament last season to which Russian and Belarusian athletes were not allowed. At similar tournaments in France (Rolland-Garros) and the USA (US Open), these bans did not apply. Also at the Australian-Open at the beginning of 2023, representatives of terrorist countries participated. Moreover, Belarusian Arina Sobolenko won this tournament.

(C)UNIAN 2023


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