Wimbledon threatened with legal action following ban of Russian and Belarussian players

Wimbledon has been threatened with court action by the Belarusian Tennis Federation over the “illegal” ban on their players this summer.

The All England Club and the LTA have announced all players from Russia and Belarus will not be allowed to play at The Championships following the invasion of Ukraine. The ATP and WTA have branded the decision“discrimination”.

The BTF have accused Britain of “double standards” following “armed conflicts in Iran, Afghanistan, Syria, Yugoslavia and other countries” - and warned they were seeking to take legal action.

The statement read:

“The decision runs counter to the joint statement of the international tennis organisations, which allowed the players of Belarus and Russia to enter individual competitions under a neutral status. Obviously, the reason for such a tough decision was the direct pressure of the British government, for example, the statements of the Minister of Sports Nigel Huddleston about the need to allow Belarusian and Russian tennis players to participate in the tournament only after signing a special declaration condemning the special operation and providing guarantees that the athletes do not support the current power in their countries and do not receive public funding.

Such statements speak of the incompetence and ignorance of the UK officials of the state system of sports support in Belarus and Russia. The pressure and discrimination based on nationality from the British government, which at the same time speaks of preventing the manifestation of racism, demonstrates the policy of double standards applied by the country's leadership to athletes from Belarus and Russia."

The statemenet continues on but finishes up with threats of legal action:

"At the moment, consultations of the BTF leadership with international law firms on sports law are ongoing and a strategy is being developed that is aimed at protecting, first of all, Belarusian tennis players around the world, and tennis in the Republic of Belarus as a whole."

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