British tennis appeal huge fine for kicking Russian players out of Wimbledon

Fury erupted after British tennis was fined £830,000 for kicking Russian players out of Wimbledon following Vladimir Putin’s Ukraine invasion.

The penalty was imposed by the Women’s Tennis Association which disapproved of banning the despot’s stars from the showpiece tournament despite his troops’ brutal bloodletting. The Lawn Tennis Association was ordered to pay £620,000 while the All England Club itself – where the two-week championship is taking place – must fork out £207,000.

News of the fines leaked out while WTA officials were lapping up the action as VIPs at the tournament. Its website ran detailed accounts of ladies’ matches but mentioned nothing of the crippling financial penalty it is imposing.

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Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries blasted the punishment saying Wimbledon should instead be 'praised’ for the tough stance it has taken against Putin.

She said: "Since February the vast majority of the international sporting community have come together in solidarity to condemn Putin’s barbaric actions in Ukraine which are continuing to have devastating consequences to human life.

"Regrettably the international tennis federations appear determined to be outcasts in this. The LTA and Wimbledon should be praised for their move to make Russia an international sporting pariah and doing what is right in the current circumstances."

All England Lawn Tennis Club chief executive Sally Bolton told the Daily Star the organisation was 'deeply disappointed’ by the fines and had already lodged an appeal. She said banning players from Russia and their military supporters Belarussia had been 'absolutely the right decision’.

"We thought really really long and hard about it," she said. "It was an incredibly difficult and challenging decision to make. It was not one we took lightly. We thought carefully about the ramifications of taking it. It was absolutely the right decision for us. But we absolutely stand by the decision.

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"It was the only viable option in the context of the Government guidance in place. We are deeply disappointed at the reaction of the tours to that decision."

She said she could not comment further as the case was `subject to a legal process’.

Earlier this year the WTA, Association of Tennis Professionals – aka ATP – and International Tennis Federation criticised Wimbledon’s decision and announced players taking part in the championships will not get ranking points.

The LTA got the biggest fine as it runs tournaments at Nottingham and Eastbourne which also imposed bans. The WTA had not responded to a request for comment on Monday night.


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