Russian Tennis Stars Banned From Competing In Wimbledon

April 20th, 2022 4:19 PM

Apparently, the sports world still has a thing for banning Russian athletes from competitions.

Wimbledon announced that Russian and Belarusian tennis athletes will not be allowed to compete in the iconic tournament, but those same athletes can compete in the French Open as neutral athletes.

"In the circumstances of such unjustified and unprecedented military aggression, it would be unacceptable for the Russian regime to derive any benefits from the involvement of Russian or Belarusian players with The Championships. It is therefore our intention, with deep regret, to decline entries from Russian and Belarusian players to The Championships 2022," the All England Club said in a statement.

The desire to hold Russia accountable for their actions is noble, but punishing athletes that have nothing to do with the war seems to be a miscalculation of what will solve the problem.

Related: Russia's National Soccer Team Banned from World Cup Qualifying

The ban will prevent several high-ranking tennis stars from competing in the tournament, including men's world No. 2 Daniil Medvedev (who was the runner up at the 2022 Australian Open) and women's world No. 4 Aryna Sabalenka, who reached the women's semifinals of Wimbledon last year.

This is the first time Wimbledon has banned athletes from participating in the tournament since post-World War II, when German and Japanese players were prohibited from participating.

Russian Tennis Federation president Shamil Tarpischev said that there is nothing he can do to reverse Wimbledon's situation.

"I think this decision is wrong but there is nothing we can change," Tarpischev told Russia's sport Express newspaper. "The (Russian) Tennis Federation has already done everything it could. "I don't want to talk about this, but I will say that this decision goes against the athletes ... We are working on the situation, that's all I can say."