The organisers of Wimbledon, one of the most important tennis tournaments in the world, have lifted the ban on the participation of Russian and Belarusian tennis players.
Quote: "Our decision last year to ban Russian and Belarusian players from our tournaments led to significant penalties being imposed on us by both the ATP and WTA tours including the real prospect of the termination of our membership if we were to repeat the ban in 2023.
This would mean the cancellation of our professional tennis events at Queens, Eastbourne, Birmingham and Nottingham this year and indeed in the future.
We have consistently opposed these sanctions and remain deeply disappointed by the penalties imposed on us.
We have agreed that all Russian and Belarusian players and support staff who wish to take part in our events in 2023 will be required to sign neutrality declarations. This is in line with the UK Government’s guidance and is an approach that has been used in other sports.
This new declaration will be in place at all LTA events from the start of the grass court season at Surbiton."
In addition to neutrality, Wimbledon organisers will require Russian and Belarusian tennis players not to receive funding from their countries, and also promise to apply a "zero tolerance" approach to any flags, symbols or other actions that support Russia, Belarus or the war in Ukraine.
The organisation emphasised that its position on supporting Ukraine remains unchanged in 2023. They said the decision to suspend players from the Russian Federation and Belarus in 2022 had been the right course of action.
- On 20 April 2022, the LTA announced its decision to ban all Russian and Belarusian players from participating in its events.