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Kremlin issues angry response to ‘unacceptable’ Wimbledon ban

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The Kremlin has issued a damning statement after it was announced that Russian and Belarussian players were to be banned from competing at Wimbledon this year, branding it as “unacceptable”.

As a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Wimbledon announced their decision on Wednesday, that Russian and Belarusian players will not be allowed to take part in the prestigious tournament in June.

The All England Club have become the first tennis tournament to issue direct sanctions towards the players from the two countries, with the likes of US Open champion and world number two Daniil Medvedev and world number four Aryna Sabalenka not being able to compete.

In addition to these top seeds, there are three more Russian men in the top 30 of the ATP rankings, and six Russian and Belarusian players in the top 32 of the WTA rankings who would have been seeds at Wimbledon.

The ATP, ITF and WTA condemned the announcement, with the ATP labelling the sanction as “unfair” and that it is “discrimination.”

Current players have criticized the ban including Russia’s Andrey Rublev branding it is “discriminatory” as well as world number one Novak Djokovic who believes the decision to ban players is “crazy”.

In a direct response to the announcement, the Kremlin have released a statement slamming the ban, claiming that Russian tennis players are being held “hostage” from competing at the All England Club.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, “Once again they simply turn athletes into hostages to political prejudice, political intrigues.

“This is unacceptable. Taking into account that Russia is a very strong tennis country, our athletes are at the top of world rankings, the competition itself will suffer from their removal.”

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