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Tennis Organizations Strip Wimbledon of Ranking Points Because of Ban on Russian and Belarusian Athletes

The British grand slam organizers said the action was ‘disproportionate’ to the circumstances

Two governing bodies of professional tennis have announced that Wimbledon will not impact rankings because of its ban on Russian and Belarusian athletes.

The ATP And WTA say the famed British tournament went too far when it banned athletes from the two nations from competing. 

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the two tennis organizations barred Russian and Belarusian athletes from competing in international team competitions. Individual athletes from the allied nations are permitted to compete as neutral competitors rather than as representatives of their countries. 

Following the decision, the result of the grand slam will not impact the international ranking of tennis players.

“The ability for players of any nationality to enter tournaments based on merit, and without discrimination, is fundamental to our Tour,” the ATP said in a statement, per Australia’s ABC News. “The decision by Wimbledon to ban Russian and Belarusian players from competing in the UK this summer undermines this principle and the integrity of the ATP Ranking system. It is also inconsistent with our Rankings agreement.”

The organization added, “Absent a change in circumstances, it is with great regret and reluctance that we see no option but to remove ATP Ranking points from Wimbledon for 2022.”

The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, which oversees Wimbledon, said in April that its ban was enacted to “limit Russia’s global influence through the strongest means possible.”

A number of high-profile competitors, including U.S. Open champion Daniil Medvedev, Andrey Rublev, Aryna Sabalenka, and Victoria Azarenka, are all unable to take part as a result.

In response to ATP and WTA’s announcement, Wimbledon organizers said they stood by the ban as it is in line with the stance taken by the United Kingdom’s government toward Russia.

“We remain unwilling to accept success or participation at Wimbledon being used to benefit the propaganda machine of the Russian regime, which, through its closely controlled State media, has an acknowledged history of using sporting success to support a triumphant narrative to the Russian people,” the tournament’s organizers said in a press release on May 20.

Wimbledon officials also said they could not risk “the personal safety of players, or their families” and that removing the tournament’s international rankings point is “disproportionate in the context of the exceptional and extreme circumstances.”

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