HomeFree ArticleLatest NewsAELTC Chairman Defends Wimbledon Ban On Russia & Belarus

AELTC Chairman Defends Wimbledon Ban On Russia & Belarus


AELTC Chairman Defends Wimbledon Ban On Russia & Belarus

All England Club (AELTC) chairman, Ian Hewitt, has defended the decision to ban Russia and Belarus from the upcoming Wimbledon championships, stating “there is no viable alternative.”

In wake of the invasion in Ukraine, last week the AELTC made the decision to ban all Russian and Belarusian players from the Wimbledon championships this June.

Organisers have been slammed by the ATP and the WTA who labelled the action as “discriminatory”, however in spite of the scrutiny, AELTC chairman, Ian Hewitt, has since defended the decision.

Hewitt told reporters: “We have considered at length the options available.”

“These are in effect two options — declining entries or allowing entries but only with specific declarations (against the invasion of Ukraine) from individual players.

“We considered a wide variety of factors.

“After lengthy and careful consideration, we came to two firm conclusions.

First, even if we were to accept entries (from Russian and Belarusian players) with written declarations, we would risk their success or participation being used to benefit the propaganda machine of the Russian regime, which we could not accept.

“Second, we have a duty to ensure no actions should put players or their families at risk.

“We understand and deeply regret the impact this will have on all the people affected.

“We believe we have made the most responsible decision possible.

“We believe (given government guidance) there is no viable alternative in this truly exceptional and tragic situation,” Hewitt said.

The decision is the first time tennis players have been barred from participation based on their nationality since the immediate post-World War II era when German and Japanese players were excluded.

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