French Open news: Players warned they will face sanctions if they make any pro-Vladimir Putin statements
French Open Tournament Director Amelie Mauresmo admits there is “no fair decision” when it comes to Russian and Belarusian players’ participation at Grand Slams, but those who compete at Roland Garros have been warned that they will face punishment if they support the Vladimir Putin regime in public.
Roland Garros officials have decided to stick with the ATP, WTA and ITF policies that allow players from the two countries to compete at tournaments, but as individuals.
This is in contrast to the All England Club (AELTC) and Lawn Tennis Association’s (LTA) decision to ban players from Russia and Belarus from Wimbledon and other events in the UK following Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine.
The likes of Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Martina Navratilova have criticised the move by AELTC and LTA while the ATP could strip all tournaments in the UK from ranking points.
Former world No 1 and French Open chief Mauresmo admits officials are in a rock and a hard place, but there was a warning for those who support Putin.
“It’s very complicated, probably there is no fair decision to take. We have thought a lot, and I have the impression that there is no fair decision, one way or the other,” she said.
“We are in line with what European sports ministers – and other countries – decided in March, we do not welcome teams but individual athletes.
“Obviously if an athlete speaks in the press for example and supports Vladimir Putin, sanctions will be taken.”
The 2022 French Open gets underway on May 22 with Djokovic and Barbora Krejcikova the defending champions.
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