Posted 31 марта, 12:56
Published 31 марта, 12:56
Modified 31 марта, 19:43
Updated 31 марта, 19:43
This year, Russian and Belarusian players will be able to compete at Wimbledon and other competitions in the UK: The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club (AELTC) and the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) have decided to lift the ban on participation that was in effect last year, The Guardian reports.
Before the tournament, Russian and Belarusian players will have to sign a neutrality agreement. It prohibits them from expressing support for Russian actions in Ukraine, receiving funding from the Russian or Belarusian state, and accepting sponsorship from organizations funded by their governments. At the same time, players are not obliged to criticize the actions of the authorities.
Last year, the issue of admitting Russian and Belarusian athletes split tennis organizations. The ATP, WTA and ITF allowed them to compete under a neutral flag without having to sign a declaration, but the AELTC and LTA suspended them from competing in England. As a result, the ATP and WTA imposed fines of $2 million on the LTA and AELTC.
"Our decision last year to ban Russian and Belarusian players from participating in our tournaments led to significant fines imposed on us by both the ATP and WTA tours, including the real prospect of termination of our membership if we repeated the ban in 2023," the LTA said in a statement. – This would mean the cancellation of our professional tennis tournaments in Queens, Eastbourne, Birmingham and Nottingham this year, and indeed in the future. We have consistently opposed these sanctions and remain deeply disappointed by the sanctions imposed on us. The consequences of excluding the LTA from the tours for British tennis would be very devastating and far-reaching for the game in our country. They would affect the millions of fans who follow this sport, ordinary players, coaches and, of course, professional British players".