Wimbledon news: Russian, Belarusian players banned from participating in 2022 edition; Djokovic calls decision 'crazy'

While most people have supported the decision, there also have been many who are against it, including Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic.

The Wimbledon logo. (Image: Twitter)

Wimbledon released a statement on Thursday stating that all Russian and Belarusian athletes will be declined entries to the 2022 edition of the competition. The statement was released on the official website of the Grand Slam tennis tournament. The statement said that organizers of Wimbledon extended their support to those affected by the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and condemned the ongoing Russian activity in the eastern European country. This means that the likes of Andrey Rublev and Daniil Medvedev will not be part of the 2022 edition of the tournament. While most people have supported the decision, there also have been many who are against it, including Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic.

“We share in the universal condemnation of Russia’s illegal actions and have carefully considered the situation in the context of our duties to the players, to our community and to the broader UK public as a British sporting institution. We have also taken into account guidance set out by the UK Government specifically in relation to sporting bodies and events. Given the profile of The Championships in the United Kingdom and around the world, it is our responsibility to play our part in the widespread efforts of Government, industry, sporting and creative institutions to limit Russia’s global influence through the strongest means possible,” the statement read.

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“In the circumstances of such unjustified and unprecedented military aggression, it would be unacceptable for the Russian regime to derive any benefits from the involvement of Russian or Belarusian players with The Championships. It is therefore our intention, with deep regret, to decline entries from Russian and Belarusian players to The Championships 2022,” it added.

Djokovic stands against Wimbledon decision

Arguably the biggest name in sport to be against this decision is Novak Djokovic. The Serbian said that while he condemned war, the decision to ban Russian and Belarusian tennis players to compete at Wimbledon was ‘crazy’ and something he could not get behind.

“I will always condemn war, I will never support war being myself a child of war,” said the 34-year-old. “I know how much emotional trauma it leaves. In Serbia, we all know what happened in 1999. In the Balkans, we have had many wars in recent history. However, I cannot support the decision of Wimbledon, I think it is crazy. When politics interferes with sport, the result is not good.”

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The ATP also released a statement regarding players from Russia and Belarus. It stated that while the tennis body condemned the ongoing military action in Ukraine, players from Russia and Belarus would be allowed to participate in its events under a neutral flag.

ATP statetment

“It is important to stress that players from Russia and Belarus will continue to be allowed to compete at ATP events under a neutral flag, a position that has until now been shared across professional tennis. In parallel, we will continue our joint humanitarian support for Ukraine under Tennis Plays for Peace,” a part of the ATP statement read.




WRITTEN BY
Sportslumo Desk

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