Wimbledon, LTA appeal against WTA fines for Russians’ exclusion


LONDON : Wimbledon organisers and Britain’s tennis authorities said on Monday they have appealed against fines handed to them by the women’s governing body, WTA, for excluding Russian and Belarussian players from this year’s grasscourt events.

The All England Club (AELTC), which organises the Grand Slam, and the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) banned players from the two countries at tournaments in Britain following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which Moscow calls a ‘special operation’.

The WTA and its men’s counterpart ATP called the move discriminatory and decided to strip all ranking points from Wimbledon while warning the LTA of sanctions.

As part of the penalties, the LTA was slapped with a fine of £620,000 (about $753,000) while the AELTC has been asked to pay £207,000 ($250,000), the Daily Mail reported.

“I think the first thing to say is that it is the subject of a legal process so I can’t comment specifically on that,” AELTC CEO Sally Bolton told reporters at Wimbledon on Monday.

“We stand by the decision we made, we are deeply disappointed at the reactions of the tours to that decision and I probably can’t say anything more on that at this time, I’m afraid.”

Bolton confirmed that the AELTC has appealed against the fine while an LTA source said it has done the same.

The WTA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The world governing bodies of tennis have themselves banned Russia and Ukraine from team events but individual athletes are allowed to compete in tournaments as neutrals.

The AELTC stand on Russians and Belarussians was the first time players have been excluded on grounds of nationality since the immediate post-World War Two era when German and Japanese players were banned.

“It was an incredibly difficult and challenging decision to make,” Bolton said. “It was not one we took lightly. We thought carefully about the ramifications of taking it.

“But it was absolutely the right decision for us. It was the only viable option in the context of the Government guidance in place and we stand by that decision.

“We accept that others will take a different view, but we absolutely stand by that decision.”

($1 = 0.8232 pounds)


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