Kremlin and Belarus Tennis Federation say Wimbledon ban is “unacceptable”

The Belarus Tennis Federation says it is exploring legal options in relation to the Wimbledon ban on players from Russia and Belarus

Russia's Daniil Medvedev during a press conference at Wimbledon in 2021 Russia’s Daniil Medvedev during a press conference at Wimbledon in 2021 Image Credit: AI / Reuters / Panoramic

As expected, the All England Cub’s decision to bar Russian and Belarusian tennis players from Wimbledon has been heavily criticised by the Kremlin and the Belarus Tennis Federation, with both deeming the ban as “unacceptable”.

On Wednesday, Wimbledon organisers shocked tennis players and fans with their announcement that players from Russia and Belarus would not be welcome to participate in The Championships, the oldest and most prestigious tournament on the tennis calendar.

The news spurred intense debate in tennis circles, with several current and former players, calling the ban unfair.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters on a conference call that it was not right to mix sports with politics.

“Given that Russia is a strong tennis country the competitions (which take this decision) will suffer from this. To make sports people hostages of political intrigue is unacceptable. I hope the players won’t lose their fitness.”

Russian Tennis Federation president Shamil Tarpishchev also condemned the ban but old Russia’s Sport-Express news site that there was “nothing we can do. I consider this decision to be wrong.”

Consulting with international sports law firms and developing a strategy aimed at protecting Belarusian players: Belarus Tennis Federation on Wimbledon ban

Meanwhile, the Belarus Tennis Federation (BTF) has issued a statement saying the Wimbledon ban will incite hatred and intolerance and that they are exploring legal options.

“The Belarusian Tennis Federation categorically condemns the decision of the Wimbledon organizers to suspend the Belarusian and Russian tennis players,” BTF said in its statement. “Such destructive actions in no way contribute to the resolution of conflicts, but only incite hatred and intolerance on ethnic grounds. The unlawful decisions of the international tennis organizations concerning our tennis players undermine … the reputation of these organizations. BTF management is still consulting with international law firms on sports law and developing a strategy that is aimed primarily at protecting Belarusian tennis players around the world and tennis in the Republic of Belarus in general.”

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