Wimbledon accused of ‘discrimination’ over decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players
The ATP have accused Wimbledon chiefs of ‘discrimination following their decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players from The Championships this year.
Wimbledon announced their decision on Wednesday, becoming the first tennis tournament to issue direct sanctions due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The sanctions will mean players such as Daniil Medvedev, Aryna Sabalenka and Andrey Rublev will not be allowed to compete.
However, the ATP have spoken out against Wimbledon’s plans, saying it creates unfairness and sets ‘a dangerous precedent’ and calling for players to be allowed to play but not under the flag of their respective nations.
“We strongly condemn Russia’s reprehensible invasion of Ukraine and stand in solidarity with the millions of innocent people affected by the ongoing war,” an ATP statement read.
“Our sport is proud to operate on the fundamental principles of merit and fairness, where players compete as individuals to earn their place in tournaments based on the ATP Rankings.
“We believe that today’s unilateral decision by Wimbledon and the LTA to exclude players from Russia and Belarus from this year’s British grass-court swing is unfair and has the potential to set a damaging precedent for the game.
“Discrimination based on nationality also constitutes a violation of our agreement with Wimbledon that states that player entry is based solely on ATP Rankings.
“Any course of action in response to this decision will now be assessed in consultation with our Board and Member councils.
“It is important to stress that players from Russia and Belarus will continue to be allowed to compete at ATP events under a neutral flag, a position that has until now been shared across professional tennis.
“In parallel, we will continue our joint humanitarian support for Ukraine under Tennis Plays for Peace.
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