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Russians and Belarusians will be able to participate as neutrals

Russians and Belarusians will be able to participate as neutrals

Russian and Belarusian tennis players will be able to play at Wimbledon 2023. After the controversial exclusion of the last edition, tennis players born in Russia and Belarus will participate in the tournament, but they will only be able to do so as “neutral athletes”, and therefore without recognition of their countries. The decision will affect not only Wimbledon, but also the British Championships leading up to the third Grand Slam of the year, and therefore Birmingham, Nottingham and Queen’s.

A decision taken by the Board of Directors of the All England Tennis Association, which organizes Wimbledon. The Championshpis board said it had also entered into an agreement with the British government. Moreover, the organizers also expressed their regret for the criticism they received after last season’s situation, stressing their full condemnation of Russia and maximum support for Ukraine.

This is the statement on this matter: “Our current goal is to accept entries from Russian and Belarusian players for the upcoming Wimbledon Championships on the condition that they compete as “neutral” athletes and meet certain conditions. Demonstrations of support for the Russian invasion of Ukraine will be banned, as will players who receive funding from the Russian and/or Belarusian state. “The terms have been carefully developed through constructive dialogue with the UK Government, the LTA and international tennis bodies, and are in line with published government guidance for UK sporting bodies.”.

Ian Hewitt, Chairman of the All England Club, commented as follows: “We continue to fully condemn Russia’s illegal invasion, as well as continue to support the Ukrainian people. This was an extremely difficult decision, and was not taken lightly. Given all the elements at our disposal, we believe this is the most appropriate decision for the 2023 edition, should circumstances change significantly from “Now until the start of the tournament, we will analyze the situation and make decisions accordingly.”

Photo: La Presse

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