London | Women push for share of WTA fine on British tennis

Matt Hughes reports in the Daily Mail that the leading players on the WTA Tour are pushing for a share of the $1million fine the WTA has imposed on British tennis for banning Russian and Belarusians, claiming the decision has cost them sponsorship income.

We stand by the decision we made. We’re deeply disappointed at the reaction of the tours. We thought really long and hard about that decision. It was an incredibly difficult and challenging decision to make. It was not taken lightly but it was absolutely the right decision. Sally Bolton, AELTC Chief Executive

The WTA retaliated to Wimbledon’s unilateral ban by removing ranking points from this year’s Championships before levying a series of heavy fines, as revealed by Sportsmail on Monday.

It is claimed the loss of points will hit players financially, as many sponsors pay bonuses based on world rankings, with additional payments triggered if they achieve milestones such as getting into the world’s top 10.

A number of players are understood to have discussed making a claim for the fine money to be added to the pot reserved for prize and appearance money, and are planning to raise the issue with the WTA.

Sally Bolton, Chief Executive of the All England Club, confirmed fines of £207,000 and £620,000 have been respectively given to Wimbledon and the LTA, and signalled an intention to appeal.

“It is the subject of a legal process,” said Bolton. “We are separate organisations, so we have been fined separately, and we are addressing it separately.

“But we stand by the decision we made. We’re deeply disappointed at the reaction of the tours.

“We thought really long and hard about that decision. It was an incredibly difficult and challenging decision to make.

“It was not taken lightly but it was absolutely the right decision.”


Ian Hewitt, AELTC Chairman, and Chief Executive Sally Bolton explained the decision to ban entries from Russian and Belarusian players to the media in April

© Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

There are said to be growing concerns over the involvement of WTA Chief Executive Steve Simon as Chair for the appeal process, having reportedly issued the fine in the first place.

Also, that the ATP may follow suit.

Athletes from Russia and Belarus have been able to participate on the ATP Tour and WTA Tour as neutrals, which is supported by the ITF.

AELTC Chairman Ian Hewitt claimed that the organisation had ‘no viable alternative’ but to impose a blanket ban taking on guidance from the British Government regarding limiting Russian influence, a move that has been criticised by IOC President Thomas Bach.

He insisted that International Federations must make their own responses to the war in Ukraine or risk ‘becoming a political tool’.





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