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“Political Prejudice” Kremlin furious over Wimbledon ‘unacceptable’ decision to bar Russian players

Russia hits back at the ban on its tennis players from the Wimbledon Championships 2022 as the Ukraine-Russia war continues.

Daniil Medvedev, Dmitry Peskov

The Wimbledon Championships 2022 are set to become the first tennis tournament to bar all the Russian and Belarusian players from playing in the Grand Slam as a consequence of the Russian attempt to invade Ukraine which is about to complete 2 months since a bloody war has torn apart the European nation.

While the ITF, ATP and WTA have already suspended the tennis federations of Russia and Belarus, so far no tournament had banned the players from competing in them because of their nationality. Even the French Open that precedes the Championships has made no such decision upon the participation of players.

However, with the UK being a strong advocate of Ukraine and a big opposer of Russia, the political motive has overtaken the sporting unity and an official announcement is expected soon on the same as the annual press conference prior to the major is scheduled next week and the organisers would want complete clarity over it.

While the official statement is awaited, Russia has not held back. Protecting its players, Kremlin has issued a strong statement and called out the Grand Slam for its decision to mix politics and sports. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov and Russian Tennis Federation (RTF) President Shamil Tarpishchev have both issued statements over the soon-to-be confirmed ban.

“Once again they simply turn athletes into hostages to political prejudice, political intrigues. This is unacceptable. Taking into account that Russia is a very strong tennis country, our athletes are at the top of world rankings, the competition itself will suffer from their removal,” said Peskov as reported by AFP.

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With the RTF being suspended since the war broke out and the tennis fans demanded the suspension, the players from Russia are playing as ‘neutral’ athletes and are without their national flag and the country’s name during the broadcast of the matches and also the official sites of ITF, WTA and ATP. “Nothing we can do. I consider this decision to be wrong,” said Shamil speaking with the Sport-Express, a Russian news site.

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