Wimbledon has announced Russian and Belarusian players have been banned from competing at The Championships this year. What had been speculated for weeks, has been officially confirmed by the Wimbledon representatives on Wednesday afternoon.
In early March, UK Sports Minister suggested Russian players should be required to publicly denounce Russian president before given the green light to compete at Wimbledon. However, that looked like a very dangerous position for Russian players and the Wimbledon representatives decided against requiring Russian players to sign anti-Putin forms.
This means Wimbledon won’t feature Daniil Medvedev, Andrey Rublev, Asian Karatsev and Karen Khachanov. On the women’s side, Aryna Sabalenka, Victoria Azarenka, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Daria Kasatkina have been banned from competing at Wimbledon.
“On behalf of the All England Club and the Committee of Management of The Championships, we wish to express our ongoing support for all those impacted by the conflict in Ukraine during these shocking and distressing times,” the Wimbledon statement read.
“We share in the universal condemnation of Russia’s illegal actions and have carefully considered the situation in the context of our duties to the players, to our community and to the broader UK public as a British sporting institution.
We have also taken into account guidance set out by the UK Government specifically in relation to sporting bodies and events. “Given the profile of The Championships in the United Kingdom and around the world, it is our responsibility to play our part in the widespread efforts of Government, industry, sporting and creative institutions to limit Russia’s global influence through the strongest means possible.
“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.
“It is therefore our intention, with deep regret, to decline entries from Russian and Belarusian players to The Championships 2022”.