Russian and Belarusian tennis players are now banned from competing in Wimbledon.
The ban will make Wimbledon the first tennis event to prohibit individual athletes from competing. Wimbledon is scheduled to start on June 27.
“It would be unacceptable for the Russian regime to derive any benefits from the involvement of Russian or Belarusian players with The Championships.”
The decision affects a number of highly-ranked players, including No. 2 Daniil Medvedev (Russia) and No. 8 Andrey Rublev (Russia) in the men’s field and No. 15 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (Russia) in the women’s field. No. 4 Aryna Sabalenka (Belarus) and No. 18 Victoria Azarenka (Belarus) would also be excluded.
“The Kremlin considers the removal of Russian athletes from Wimbledon unacceptable,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov reacted.
“(The players) are again being made the hostages of political intrigues.”
The French Open begins May 22 and will permit Russian and Belarusian players to compete as neutral athletes.