LTA handed ATP fine for ban on Russian players

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The Lawn Tennis Association has been hit with an £820,000 fine by the ATP for banning Russian and Belarusian male players from its 2022 grass-court events, including Wimbledon.

The ban was imposed upon players from those nations following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, supported by Belarus, but has been deemed to have breached ATP rules.

In a statement, the LTA expressed its disappointment with the decision and accused the ATP of not recognising "exceptional circumstances".

"The LTA is deeply disappointed with this outcome," the statement read. "The ATP, in its finding, has shown no recognition of the exceptional circumstances created by Russia's invasion of Ukraine, or the international sporting community and UK Government's response to that invasion.

"The ATP appear to regard this matter as a straightforward breach of their rules – with a surprising lack of empathy shown for the situation in Ukraine, and a clear lack of understanding of the unique circumstances the LTA faced."

The LTA said the fine will prevent the organisation from holding smaller events to give opportunities to lower-ranked players, and announced that plans for ATP Challenger level events will be scrapped.

A previous fine was issued by the WTA for the banning of female Russian and Belarusian players, which has been appealed by the LTA.