The Kremlin is against the possible boycott of Russian and Belarusian players

Even before the formality of the All England Club, which organizes the Wimbledon tournament, the third Grand Slam of the season, Russia on Wednesday 20 April condemned a possible ban on the participation of Russian and Belarusian players. ,Once again, they are holding athletes hostage to political prejudices, political intrigues , this is unacceptable“, declared the Kremlin spokesman, Dmitry Peskov after the revelation of this situation in the British press.

Will we see Russian Daniil Medvedev, current world No. 2 at Wimbledon this year, and Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka, a semifinalist in 2021? According to information from the British daily The Times and the BBC, as confirmed by a FranceInfo source, the organizers want to exclude Russian and Belarusian players because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. So far, since the start of the Russian offensive on 24 February, Russian and Belarusian players have been able to continue participating in ATP and WTA competitions under a neutral flag. The device was supposed to expand to three Grand Slam tournaments to be played in 2022, while the International Federation (ITF) banned teams from both countries from participating in the Davis Cup and the Billie Jean King Cup (ex-FedCup).

In the United Kingdom, restrictions may be more severe. The British press announced after nearly two months of negotiations that the organizers of Wimbledon should prohibit the participation of Russian and Belarusian players instead of following a compromise solution proposed by the British government, which included tennis players and tennis women on a statement. was asked to sign. Do not comment in favor of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Wimbledon preferred a complete ban because signing such announcements could negatively impact the families of players.

These restrictions could go into effect at all UK grass-court tournaments this summer. The Lawn Tennis Association (LTA), which oversees major Wimbledon practice tournaments such as Queens and Eastbourne, said last week that it would follow Wimbledon’s lead. ,We believe there is a need for an alignment from the point of view of the public and from the point of view of practical implementation (between the All England Club and the LTA, editor’s note), To make it really clear and understandables,” said LTA chief executive Scott Lloyd.This is of utmost importance.,

The Kremlin has already reacted through its spokesman Dmitry Peskov who indicated that it would be “unacceptable” to ban Russian tennis players from participating in the London tournament. “Since Russia is a very strong country in tennis, with our athletes at the top of the world rankings, their exclusion will have an impact on the competition itself.”He guessed.

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