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Wimbledon plans to bar Russian and Belarusian players from the tournament this summer because of the war in Ukraine, according to reports overnight Tuesday.
The London tournament is set to start in late June.
Wimbledon would be the first tennis tournament to ban individual players over Russian and Belarusian Presidents Vladimir Putin’s and Aleksandr Lukashenko’s support for the war, but the reported decision follows other sports that have imposed bans, including the Winter Paralympics in Beijing and Monday’s Boston Marathon.
No. 2 men’s player Daniil Medvedev, current U.S. Open men’s singles champion, would be among those affected by a ban. Aryna Sabalenka, the no. 4 women’s player who is from Belarus, would also be banned.
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“We are in very close dialog with the All England Club, the government, with the tours,” Britain’s Lawn Tennis Association Chief Executive Steve Lloyd said earlier this month, according to Reuters. “We are very conscious of public sentiment in this area. We are trying to navigate what that needs to look like in the summer events in Britain this year.”
The New York Times said a top British tennis official who spoke on condition of anonymity confirmed the decision.
The Davis Cup and Billie Jean King Cup already banned athletes from Russia and Belarus from playing in team events this year.
Other organizations like the International Tennis Association, the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) and the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) have allowed Russian and Belarusian players to compete as long as they don’t represent their country, according to Reuters.