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The Wall Street Journal: Wimbledon to bar players from Russia and Belarus this summer

Wimbledon, the world’s oldest Grand Slam tennis tournament, will ban players from Russia and Belarus from competing there this summer in the sports world’s latest response to the invasion of Ukraine.

The club said on Wednesday that given “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.”

Under the current rankings, the move would bar two of the top 10 men in the world (U.S. Open champion Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev), along with three of the top 20 women (No. 4 Aryna Sabalenka, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, and former No. 1 Victoria Azarenka). 

From the archives (March 2016): Maria Sharapova on failed drug test: ‘I made a huge mistake’

Wimbledon’s decision followed a recommendation in February from the International Olympic Committee that global sports federations bar Russian and Belarusian athletes from their competitions. Those delegations were soon removed from the Paralympics in Beijing and soccer’s world governing body booted Russia from World Cup qualifying. Sports from badminton to curling quickly followed suit. 

Crowds gathered to celebrate after a judge ordered the release of tennis star Novak Djokovic from detention ahead of the Australian Open. The ruling comes after the Australian government canceled his visa, saying he wasn’t exempt from Covid-19 vaccination rules. Photo: Hamish Blair/Associated Press

An expanded version of this report appears at WSJ.com.

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