Wimbledon cancels last year’s ban on Russians and Belarusians. This year, tennis players from these countries will be able to take part in Wimbledon after meeting certain conditions.
After Russia’s attack on Ukraine, athletes from Russia and Belarus, which supports Russia, were excluded from some sports competitions. The tennis authorities did not decide to ban the Russians and Belarusians, but Wimbledon did. The authorities of the English slam banned Russians and Belarusians from playing on their courts in last year’s edition of the event, even under a neutral flag. This decision was met with much disapproval in the tennis world, as Wimbledon decided not to award ranking points to any participant in order to ensure that no one would suffer from this decision. This time, however, it will be different.
Wimbledon goes back to the old rules. During the upcoming edition, players will earn points for participation, and Russians and Belarusians will be able to participate in the event under certain conditions. Namely, Russians and Belarusians will be allowed to play when they perform under a neutral flag and sign declarations of neutrality and lack of support for the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Also, competitors may not receive funding from the Russian or Belarusian state, including sponsorship from companies operated or controlled by the state.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba condemned the decision as “immoral”.