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Wimbledon refuses to be swayed over bans on Russian and Belarusian players

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Wimbledon refuses to obey bans on Russian and Belarusian players - GETTY IMAGES
Wimbledon refuses to obey bans on Russian and Belarusian players – GETTY IMAGES

Wimbledon ready to hold on its ban on players from Russia and Belarus for a long time, while the government is fighting because of the war in Ukraine.

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The All-England club stressed on the ATP and WTA tours that the restrictions are not permanent, but there is little hope that ranking points will be restored while the suspensions are in place.

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Chiefs remain in close dialogue with the tours, although it is too late for a change of heart, which could have seen Russian and Belarusian athletes compete on Monday.

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Instead, the talks will focus on ensuring players like Daniil Medvedev, the reigning US Open men’s singles champion, and Belarus’ Arina Sobolenko can return in 2023.

However, sources close to the tournament say that the situation is not in their power. There has been no signal from the government that the ministers have changed their positions after ordering the governing bodies to make Vladimir Putin a “sports pariah”.

The controversy surrounding the Russian ban was a big distraction for organizers ahead of Monday’s first round, which has effectively turned into an exhibition tournament. Last month, the ATP and WTA stripped the tournament of ranking points, leaving Wimbledon plunged into one of the biggest crises in its history.

It was believed that Wimbledon officials were keen to avoid the nightmarish scenario of the Duchess of Cambridge presenting a trophy to a Russian player following Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

Wimbledon organizers have previously said they are “deeply disappointed” by the removal of ranking points, but insisted they would stand their ground. “We deeply regret the impact this decision has had on those affected,” they added in a statement.

“We consider these decisions disproportionate in the context of the exceptional and extreme circumstances of this situation and the position we find ourselves in, and are detrimental to all players who compete on the tour.

“We remain unwilling to tolerate Wimbledon success or participation being used to the advantage of the propaganda machine of the Russian regime, which, through its tightly controlled state-owned media, has an avowed history of using sporting success to support a triumphant narrative for the Russian people. “



Source: sports.yahoo.com

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