Wimbledon: Veronika Kudermetova to drop Russian sponsorship.
Veronika Kudermetova, a Russian player sponsored by one of the country’s oil and gas conglomerates, Tatneft, claims she will be able to compete at Wimbledon by removing the company’s logo off her uniform.
The All England Club (AELTC) will enable Russians and Belarusians to compete as neutrals this year if they pledge not to publicly support the Ukrainian invasion.
However, the terms forbid players from receiving funding from either state.
This includes “sponsorship from state-owned or controlled companies” – but only “in relation to their participation in The Championships.”
The AELTC and the Lawn Tennis Association drafted the terms in consultation with the UK government.
Last June, the European Union imposed sanctions on Tatneft by freezing the company’s assets within the EU.
“I’m not breaking any rules right now,” Kudermetova said after wearing the Tatneft emblem on her chest in a fourth-round victory over compatriot Daria Kasatkina at the Madrid Open.
“I know we’re not allowed to wear our country’s badges at Wimbledon.” I agree, but for the time being, I can wear that insignia.”
The restrictions may be open to interpretation, but they appear simple to get around by postponing an undesirable arrangement for the few weeks of the grass-court season.
Kudermetova, 26, says she has already signed the personal declaration required of all Russians and Belarusians wishing to compete in grass-court events in the United Kingdom.
And she has agreed to do it on the condition that she will not wear any Tatneft logo.
“If I want to play Wimbledon, I need to remove the badge,” she continued.