According to rumours, Wimbledon will lift the ban on Russian players

LONDON: According to a report on Friday, British tennis officials are likely to lift their contentious ban on Russian and Belarusian players ahead of this year’s Wimbledon championships.

The UK’s governing Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) was pressured by the British government to impose a ban following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year.

All five LTA ATP tournaments, including the storied Queen’s Club event in London, eventually excluded Russian and Belarusian players.

England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC)

A similar ban was imposed by the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC), which runs Wimbledon.

However, the Daily Telegraph of Britain reported on Friday: The AELTC is expected to lift the ban on Russians and Belarusians, according to all expectations.”

However, it added that players from those nations might be required to sign a statement promising not to “promote or glorify” Russia’s war during the tournament in any way.

Sports Illustrated’s Jon Wertheim, who is based in the United States, tweeted: hearing that @Wimbledon and the LTA won’t do the same as they did last year, when they banned Russians and Belarusians from competing.”

A spokeswoman for the AELTC told AFP: On this issue, we are continuing to collaborate very closely with the UK Government and key tennis stakeholders.”

In response to the ban imposed last year, the ATP, which manages the men’s professional tour, handed British tennis a $1 million fine, split between a $750,000 penalty for the LTA and a $250,000 penalty for the AELTC.

Women’s Tennis Association.

Wimbledon’s ranking points were also taken away by both the ATP and the Women’s Tennis Association.

Ironically, Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina, who was born in Russia, won the women’s singles title.

There are now concerns that major events like Queen’s and Eastbourne could be banned from Britain if the ban is kept in place, resulting in additional significant fines.

Similar restrictions have not been imposed at any of the sport’s three other Grand Slams held in Australia, France, or the United States.

Even though they are unable to compete under the flag or name of their respective countries, players from Belarus and Russia continue to appear at tour events.

Wimbledon takes place from July 3 to 16 this year.

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