Wimbledon to ban Russian tennis pros

As a sanction against Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Russian and Belarusian tennis players will be banned from participating in this year's Grand Slam tournament at Wimbledon in London. The ban will affect No. 2 seed Daniil Medvedev from Russia and two-time Grand Slam winner Victoria Asarenka from Belarus. The press disagrees on whether this is the right approach.

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The Times (GB) /

Pointing the way

The path taken by Wimbledon should be implemented in all other sports, The Times argues.

“Russia's invasion of Ukraine is an act of barbarism. Allowing Russians to compete under different flags, as the International Olympic Committee has done, is a fudge that no longer signals sufficient condemnation, if it ever did. Russian players, teams and administrators must be swiftly excluded from all sporting forums, organisations and events, worldwide. ... Although European football's governing body has suspended all Russian teams from its competitions, it has yet to expel the Russian Football Union from its ranks. The argument for doing so is overwhelming. ... Wimbledon points the way.”

Die Presse (AT) /

This excludes opponents of the war too

In some cases a ban could actually be counterproductive, Die Presse urges:

“To ban Russia from team competitions like the Davis Cup 2022 is consistent and correct. But the idea of isolating individual athletes because of their nationality is ill-considered. Andrey Rublev made his position very clear on the first day of the war, writing 'No War Please' on the camera lens for all the world to see, including Russia. The last Instagram post of this Moscow-born player includes the following sentence: 'Now it's not about tennis. It's not about sport. It's about having peace all over the world.' Are statements like this not more powerful than any ban could ever be?”