Roland Garros French Open 2021 ATP ambience

Players will face ‘sanctions’ for Pro-Putin statements at French Open says tournament chief

French Open tournament director Amelie Mauresmo says there is “no fair decision” regarding allowing Russian and Belarusian players to compete at the tournament, but they will face “sanctions” if they support Vladimir Putin in public. 

Last month, Wimbledon announced that they were to ban Russian and Belarusian players due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The ban has been widely condemned by many key stakeholders in tennis including current players, coaches and even tennis’ governing bodies.

World number one Novak Djokovic branded the announcement as “crazy”, with 18-time Grand Slam champion Martina Navratilova labelling the ban as the “wrong decision”.

Both the ATP and WTA have expressed their disappointment in Wimbledon’s decision, as they have discussed the possibility of turning Wimbledon into an ‘exhibition event’.

In light of the decision’s backlash, The French Open has decided to not follow suit and to stick with the ATP and WTA, who are allowing Russian and Belarusian players to compete as individuals and not under their national flags.

Former world number one, turned Roland Garros tournament director, Amelie Mauresmo has discussed the ban labeling the situation as “very complicated.”

In a recent interview, the 42-year-old told reporters, “It’s very complicated, probably there is no fair decision to take.

“We keep the line of what all the European governments – and other governments – decided in March, i.e. national teams of Russia and Belarus banned, but not the athletes as individuals, as long as they play under strict neutrality. We will be very meticulous on that.

“If any of them should have pro-Putin statements in the media, there will be sanctions for sure.”

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