Russian and Belarusian players will be able to compete as neutral athletes at Wimbledon after the All England Club lifted last year’s ban on Friday.
Players at the famous tennis tournament must sign declarations of neutrality and comply with “favorable conditions”, including not supporting Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“This was an incredibly difficult decision that was not taken without much thought or lightness for those who would be affected,” All England Club president Ian Hewitt said in a statement. expression.
Contestants may not receive funding from the governments of Russia or Belarus, including sponsorship from companies operated or controlled by states.
The All England Club said the terms were developed through discussions with the British government, the LTA and “international stakeholder organizations in the tennis field”.
Among those affected are Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus and Russian players Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev.
Other tennis tournaments allowed Russian and Belarusian players to compete as neutral athletes.
“We think that harmony between Grand Slams is increasingly important in the current tennis environment,” the club said.
The same neutrality requirements will apply to Lawn Tennis Association tournaments used by players as the grass court warm-up for the sport’s oldest Grand Slam tournament.
“There has been a strong and very disappointing response from some of the governing bodies in tennis to the position taken by the All England Club and the LTA last year, and that is the players, the fans, the Championships and English tennis if it continues,” the club said.
This year’s Wimbledon tournament will begin on July 3rd. The women’s final will be held on July 15, and the men’s final on July 16.
The statement came amid the International Olympic Committee’s recommendation to allow Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete impartially in various events. trigger possible boycotts from various countries.