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Wimbledon ban for Russian and Belarusian players is 'complete discrimination', says Andrey Rublev

Andrey Rublev says All England Club's decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players is "illogical"; urges Wimbledon to donate all prize money to relief efforts in Ukraine; Rublev and Russian compatriot Daniil Medvedev two of the high-profile players set to miss this summer's Grand Slam

Andrey Rublev (Associated Press)
Image: Andrey Rublev says it is 'complete discrimination' for Russian and Belarusian players to banned from Wimbledon

Andrey Rublev has called Wimbledon's ban on Russian and Belarusian players for this year's tournament "complete discrimination".

The All England club has prohibited Russian and Belarusian players from competing following the invasion of Ukraine.

Russian World No 8 Rublev and compatriot Daniil Medvedev, who is ranked No 2 in the world, are now set to miss this summer's Grand Slam.

World No 1 Novak Djokovic has criticised the decision, branding it "crazy" and now Rublev has said the call is "illogical".

Rublev also urged Wimbledon to donate all prize money to relief efforts in Ukraine.

Speaking to the AFP news agency at the Serbia Open in Belgrade, the 24-year-old said: "What is happening now is complete discrimination against us. The reasons they gave us had no sense, they were not logical.

Novak Djokovic of Serbia returns a ball to Laslo Djere of Serbia during their tennis match of the Serbia Open tennis tournament in Belgrade, Serbia, Wednesday, April 20, 2022. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
Image: Novak Djokovic does not agree with the All England Club's decision

"Banning Russian or Belarusian players... will not change anything.

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"To give all the prize money would have a more positive effect to humanitarian help, to the families who are suffering, to the kids who are suffering.

"I think that would do something. Tennis will, in that case, be the first and only sport who donates that amount of money and it will be Wimbledon so they will take all the glory."

"We recognise that this is hard on the individuals affected, and it is with sadness that they will suffer for the actions of the leaders of the Russian regime. "We have very carefully considered the alternative measures that might be taken within the UK Government guidance but, given the high profile environment of The Championships, the importance of not allowing sport to be used to promote the Russian regime and our broader concerns for public and player (including family) safety, we do not believe it is viable to proceed on any other basis at The Championships."
Ian Hewitt, chairman of the All England Club

An All England Club statement released earlier this week read: "We share in the universal condemnation of Russia's illegal actions and have carefully considered the situation in the context of our duties to the players, to our community and to the broader UK public as a British sporting institution.

"If circumstances change materially between now and June, we will consider and respond accordingly."

Rublev appealed for peace shortly after the war started when he signed a camera lens with "no war please" at the Dubai Tennis Championship.

The Belarusian Tennis Federation said it is seeking legal advice about the decision to ban their players from Wimbledon.

"Such destructive actions in no way contribute to the resolution of conflicts but only incite hatred and intolerance on a national basis," it said.

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