Wimbledon, one of the four tennis majors and the most prestigious tournament in the world, will ban Russian and Belarusian players from the upcoming 2022 tournament.
“In the circumstances of such unjustified and unprecedented military aggression, it would be unacceptable for the Russian regime to derive any benefits from the involvement of Russian or Belarusian players with The Championships,” the All England Club said in a statement.
“It is therefore our intention, with deep regret, to decline entries from Russian and Belarusian players to The Championships 2022,” the statement continued.
The 2022 Wimbledon tournament is set to begin on June 27.
According to The New York Times, the ban means that five Russian women in the WTA top-40 will not be allowed to compete, as will men’s No. 2 overall player Daniil Medvedev.
Since Russia’s February invasion of Ukraine, the tennis world has allowed Russian and Belarusian tennis players to compete, just not under their respective countries’ flags. Steve Simon, the head of the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA), said that tennis professionals from Russia and Belarus should not be banned from competing “as the result of political positions their leadership may take.”
“You never know what the future may bring,” Simon told BBC Sport.
“But I can tell you that we have never banned athletes from participating on our tour as the result of political positions their leadership may take,” Simon continued. “So it would take something very, very significant for that to change, but again we don’t know where this is going.”
Following the invasion of Ukraine, the sports world quickly reacted by banning Russian and Belarusian athletes from competing in events around the globe.
In early March, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) reversed an earlier decision to allow Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete at the 2022 Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing.
“The war has now come to these Games, and behind the scenes, many governments are having an influence on our cherished event,” IPC President Andrew Parsons said last month according to ESPN. “We were trying to protect the Games from war.”
Parson said delegations threatened to boycott the games if Russia and Belarus were allowed to participate.
“In the last 12 hours an overwhelming number of members have been in touch with us and been very open, for which I am grateful,” Parsons said. “They have told us that if we do not reconsider our decision, it is now likely to have grave consequences for the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games. Multiple NPCs, some of which have been contacted by their governments, teams and athletes, are threatening not to compete.”
Also in March, the International Skating Union (ISU) announced that skaters from Russia and Belarus will not be “invited or allowed to participate in International ice skating competitions including ISU Championships and other ISU events.”
“The ISU Council reiterates its solidarity with all those affected by the conflict in Ukraine and our thoughts are with the entire Ukrainian people and country,” the union said in a statement. “The ISU Council reaffirms its full solidarity with the ISU Members in Ukraine, the Ukrainian Speed Skating Federation and the Ukrainian Figure Skating Federation.”
Joe Morgan is the Sports Reporter for The Daily Wire. Most recently, Morgan covered the Clippers, Lakers, and the NBA for Sporting News. Send your sports questions to email@example.com.