Russians and Belarusians will be able to participate as neutrals – OA Sport
Tennis players from Russia and Belarus will be able to play at Wimbledon 2023. After the controversial exclusion of the latest edition, tennis players born in Russia and Belarus will participate in the tournaments, but they will only be able to do so as “neutral athletes”, thus without recognition by their countries. A decision that will not only affect Wimbledon, but also the British Championships, which expect their third Grand Slam tournament of the year, and therefore Birmingham, Nottingham and Queens.
A decision taken by the board of the All England Lawn Tennis Association, which organizes Wimbledon. The Champspace board said it had also signed an agreement with the British government. Moreover, the organizers also regretted the criticism they received after last season’s situation, but affirmed their full condemnation of Russia and maximum support for Ukraine.
This is the press release on the matter:”Our current goal is to accept entries from Russian and Belarusian players to the next Wimbledon Championships provided they compete as “neutral” players and meet certain conditions. Demonstrations in support of the Russian invasion of Ukraine will be banned, and players receiving Russian and/or Belarusian funding will be denied entry. The terms have been carefully developed through constructive dialogue with the UK government, the international tennis bodies, and are in line with published government guidelines for UK sports bodies..
Ian Hewitt, chairman of the All England Club, commented as follows: We continue to fully condemn Russia’s illegal invasion, as well as continue to support the Ukrainian people. This was a very difficult decision, and one that was not taken lightly. Considering all the elements at our disposal, we believe this is the most appropriate decision for the 2023 edition. If circumstances change significantly between now and the start of the tournament, we will analyze the situation and make decisions accordingly.
Photo: La Presse
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