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Wimbledon Appeals $1M in Fines from WTA for Banning Russian, Belarusian Players

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVJuly 4, 2022

Alex Davidson/Getty Images

The organizations behind Wimbledon are appealing the $1 million in fines levied against them by the WTA for banning Russian and Belarusian players, per Howard Fendrich of the Associated Press.

The Women's Tennis Association announced a $750,000 fine against the Lawn Tennis Association, the British federation for the sport, as well as a $250,000 fine against the All England Club, the host of Wimbledon.

The Grand Slam tournament announced in April that players from Russia and Belarus would not be eligible to play after Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

"It's the subject of a legal process, so I can't comment specifically on that,” All England Club CEO Sally Bolton said of the appeal Monday. "We stand by the decision we made. We're deeply disappointed at the reaction of the tours to that decision, and I probably can't say any more than that at this point in time, I'm afraid."

Bolton said she doesn't know whether the ATP Tour, the men's tennis organization, plans to levy a fine as well.

"We're still waiting to hear from them," she said.

Tennis was one of several sports to announce bans for athletes following the invasion of Ukraine. Figure skating and track and field didn't allow Russian or Belarusian competitors in their international events, while the Russian men's soccer team was excluded from World Cup qualifying.

World men's No. 1 Daniil Medvedev and No. 8 Andrey Rublev, both Russians, could not compete at Wimbledon. On the women's side, No. 6 Aryna Sabalenka and No. 20 Victoria Azarenka, both Belarusians, were among the notable players barred.

Medvedev has struggled at the grass-court event, only reaching as far as the fourth round, although he is the reigning U.S. Open winner. Sabalenka was a semifinalist at Wimbledon last year, while Azarenka has reached the semis twice.

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