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"I cannot support the Wimbledon decision, it's not the athletes' fault" - Novak Djokovic opposes move to ban Russian & Belarusian players

Novak Djokovic after winning the Wimbledon 2021 title
Novak Djokovic after winning the Wimbledon 2021 title
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Novak Djokovic thinks it is wrong on Wimbledon's part to stop Russian and Belarusian players from taking part in the Major in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Making it clear that he stands against the idea of violence, Djokovic highlighted how well-versed he was with the damage caused by war, having grown up under similar circumstances in Serbia.

Speaking to the media after his win over Laslo Djere at the Serbia Open, Djokovic asserted that politics must not influence sporting decisions.

"I will always be the first one to condemn the war. As a child of war, I know what kind of emotional trauma a war leaves," Djokovic said. "Us in Serbia, we know what was happening here in 1999, ordinary people always suffer, we've had a lot of wars in the Balkans. That being said, I cannot support the Wimbledon decision. It's not the athletes' fault. When politics interfere with sports, it usually doesn't turn out well."
#Djokovic does not support the #Wimbledon decision. Full answer πŸ‘‡πŸ» https://t.co/WP7MsUBwv4

Wimbledon bars Russian, Belarusian players from competing in The Championships

Statement regarding Russian and Belarusian individuals at The Championships 2022.

Wimbledon announced on Wednesday that they had no choice but to deny entry to Russian and Belarusian players in an act of solidarity towards Ukraine.

Russia invaded Ukraine in February and was supported in its act of war by Belarus. With large parts of the world sanctioning the two countries, Wimbledon chose to follow suit.

"In the circumstances of 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," the statement read. "It is therefore our intention, with deep regret, to decline entries from Russian and Belarusian players to The Championships 2022."
"On behalf of the All England Club and the Committee of Management of The Championships, we wish to express our ongoing support for all those impacted by the conflict in Ukraine during these shocking and distressing times," the statement read.

The Championships hinted that the UK Government had a role to play in this decision.

"We have also taken into account guidance set out by the UK Government specifically in relation to sporting bodies and events. Given the profile of The Championships in the United Kingdom and around the world, it is our responsibility to play our part in the widespread efforts of government, industry, sporting and creative institutions to limit Russia’s global influence through the strongest means possible," it went on.

Wimbledon's decision means the likes of World No. 2 Daniil Medvedev, World No. 8 Andrey Rublev and Aryna Sabalenka will not be allowed to feature at the Grand Slam.


Edited by Keshav Gopalan
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