Putin will use the “most horrible weapon” if he fears Russia’s collapse

Russian and Belarusian tennis players will be allowed to compete at this year’s Wimbledon after organizers announced on Friday they were lifting a ban imposed in 2022 in response to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

Competitors from the two countries can compete in the Grand Slam in July if they compete as “neutral” athletes and meet certain conditions.

Players will not be allowed to express support for the Russian invasion of Ukraine and those who receive funding from the Russian or Belarusian states, including sponsorship from state-owned or state-controlled companies, will remain excluded.

The All England Club, which administers Wimbledon, said the terms had been “carefully developed” following talks with the UK government, Britain’s governing Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) and international tennis organisations.

Ian Hewitt, president of the All England Club, said in a statement: “We remain in full condemnation of the illegal invasion of Russia and our sincere support remains with the people of Ukraine.

“This was an incredibly difficult decision, not taken lightly or with little regard for those who will be affected. We believe that, taking all factors into consideration, this is the most appropriate arrangement for this year’s championships.”