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Wimbledon to remove ban on players from Russia: reports Sport-rated




British tennis chiefs are set to drop their controversial ban on Russian and Belarusian players ahead of this year’s Wimbledon championships, it was reported on Friday. Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year, the UK Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) was pressured by the British government to impose a ban. Russian and Belarusian players were eventually banned from all five ATP tournaments organized by the LTA, including the long-running Queen’s Club event in London.

The All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC), which runs Wimbledon, imposed a similar suspension.

But Britain’s Daily Telegraph reported on Friday: “All expectations suggest that the AELTC will ease the ban on Russians and Belarusians.”

However, he added that players from those countries may be required to sign a statement pledging not to “promote or glorify” Russian President Vladimir Putin’s attitude in any way during the tournament.

Jon Wertheim of US-based Sports Illustrated magazine tweeted: “To hear @Wimbledon and the LTA will NOT repeat last year’s decision to ban Russians/Belarusians from competing.”

To AELTC AFP spokeswoman: “We continue to work very closely with the UK government and have told key tennis stakeholders about this matter.”

The ATP, which runs the men’s professional tour, responded to last year’s ban by punishing British tennis with a $1 million fine, split between a $750,000 LTA penalty and a $250,000 AELTC penalty.

Both the ATP and the Women’s Tennis Association also stripped Wimbledon of its ranking points.

Ironically, the women’s singles title was won by Russian-born Elena Rybakina, representing Kazakhstan.

There are now fears that if the ban stands, major events like Queen’s and Eastbourne could be removed from Britain, with even bigger fines to follow.

None of the sport’s three other Grand Slams in Australia, France and the United States have imposed similar bans.

Players from Russia and Belarus also continue to appear at tour events, although they are prevented from competing under their countries’ name or flag.

This year’s Wimbledon will take place from July 3-16.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)

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