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Wimbledon allows Russian and Belarusian players to compete in 2023

(John Walton/PA Images via Getty Images)

Wimbledon banned Russian and Belarusian players from competition last year, but the Grand Slam is set to allow them to compete neutral athletes in 2023.

Players from Russia and Belarus will be required to sign declarations of neutrality and comply with “appropriate conditions,” which include not expressing their support for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Additionally, players cannot receive funding from Russian or Belarusian states, which includes sponsorship from companies that are operated or controlled by either country.

“We continue to condemn totally Russia’s illegal invasion and our wholehearted support remains with the people of Ukraine,” said Ian Hewitt, chairman of the All England Club, in a statement. “This was an incredibly difficult decision, not taken lightly or without a great deal of consideration for those who will be impacted.”

Athletes such as 2023 Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka, who is from Belarus, are affected by the announcement.

Last year, Wimbledon was the only Grand Slam to not allow Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete. Other tournaments have allowed players to compete under a neutral flag.

“We also consider alignment between the Grand Slams to be increasingly important in the current tennis environment,” the club said.

Wimbledon is set to begin on July 3.