French Open tournament director Amelie Mauresmo confirmed that Russian and Belarusian players will be allowed to compete at the French Open but underlined that any kind of Vladimir Putin will be sanctioned. The French Open decided against taking a strong stance like Wimbledon but they have made it clear that if anyone tries to show Russian president or his regime support, he will certainly be sanctioned.
“It’s very complicated, probably there is no fair decision to take,” Mauresmo said, per Tennishead. “We keep the line of what all the European governments – and other governments – decided in March, i.e.
national teams of Russia and Belarus banned, but not the athletes as individuals, as long as they play under strict neutrality. We will be very meticulous on that. If any of them should have pro-Putin statements in the media, there will be sanctions for sure”.
Russian players can play the French Open but not Wimbledon
The UK government pushed for a player ban on Russian and Belarusian players and the Wimbledon organizers eventually decided to impose player bans on players from those two countries.
AELTC Chairman Ian Hewitt listed two reasons for their decisions – they didn’t want to put Russian players in danger by requiring them to sign anti-Putin forms and they also feared a Russian success at Wimbledon would be used in negative ways “First, even if we were to accept entries (from Russian and Belarusian players) with written declarations, we would risk their success or participation being used to benefit the propaganda machine of the Russian regime, which we could not accept.
Second, we have a duty to ensure no actions should put players or their families at risk. We understand and deeply regret the impact this will have on all the people affected. ‘We believe we have made the most responsible decision possible.
We believe (given Government guidance) there is no viable alternative in this truly exceptional and tragic situation,” Hewitt said.