After the All England Club lifted its ban last year, Russian and Belarussian players will be able to compete at Wimbledon this summer.
The players will be allowed to play this year “subject to competing as neutral athletes” and meeting certain requirements.
They were prohibited in reaction to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and Belarus’s support.
Wimbledon begins on July 3rd at the All England Club this year. (AELTC).
“We continue to condemn Russia’s illegal invasion and remain fully committed to the people of Ukraine,” said AELTC chairman Ian Hewitt.
“This was an extremely difficult decision that was not made lightly or without careful consideration for those who will be affected.”
The decision also applies to other British events hosted in the run-up to Wimbledon, most notably the Queen’s and Eastbourne tournaments.
The following are the rules that participants must follow:
- Choosing not to back Russia and/or Belarus, as well as their regimes and leaders
- Not receiving funding from the Russian and/or Belarusian governments, including sponsorship from businesses run or controlled by them.
Outside of Wimbledon and British events, players are allowed to compete as neutrals on their tours. Including in other Grand Slams, whereas Wimbledon and the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) were fined last year for their decisions.
The AELTC stated that its newest decision was reached after consultations with the UK government, the LTA, and international stakeholders.
The AELTC and LTA have stated that they stand by their decision from last year. But without the change this year, Queen’s, Eastbourne, and other British grass-court events would have been canceled. Causing financial harm to British tennis fans and groups.
Russian trio Daniil Medvedev, Andrey Rublev, and Daria Kasatkina, who are all ranked in the top ten of the men’s and women’s rankings, are among the most high-profile names eligible to compete, along with Belarusian women’s world number two Aryna Sabalenka, who won the Australian Open earlier this year.
To participate, players and their support staff will be required to sign neutrality declarations.
Fines and expulsion from the competition will be imposed for violations of the declarations.