Tennis player Novak Djokovic has called Wimbledon’s decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine “crazy”.
Yesterday, the Grand Slam’s organisers, the All England Lawn Tennis Club, announced that it had barred all Russian and Belarusian players from this year’s championships amid the war in Ukraine.
Wimbledon is the first major tennis tournament to ban individual competitors from the two countries, meaning men’s world number two Daniil Medvedev from Russia and women’s fourth-ranked Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus will be banned from the competition.
Djokovic, who grew up in war-torn Serbia, said the athletes had nothing to do with the ongoing conflict.
“I will always condemn war, I will never support war being myself a child of war,” Djokovic said.
“I know how much emotional trauma it leaves. In Serbia we all know what happened in 1999. In the Balkans we have had many wars in recent history.
“However, I cannot support the decision of Wimbledon, I think it is crazy.
“When politics interferes with sport, the result is not good.”