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Commonwealth Games: Australia athletes barred from attending events other than their own

Commonwealth Games: Australia athletes barred from attending events other than their own

Australian athletes will be banned from supporting their team mates at other Commonwealth Games events at Birmingham due to the risk of COVID-19 transmission, team chef de mission Petria Thomas said.

They will also have to wear face masks when not in their rooms or exercising at the July 28 – Aug. 8 Games as part of team health protocols.

“Our primary focus is that we can get our athletes to the starting line and they are performance ready,” Thomas told News Corp media on Wednesday.

“We have to put these measures in place to minimise the transmission of COVID and other diseases as well.”

COVID continues to disrupt global sport, with a number of swimmers forced to pull out of the recent swimming world championships in Budapest after testing positive.

Around 5,000 athletes from 72 nations and territories are due to compete at Birmingham.

The Office for National Statistics estimated 3.95% of people in England, or one in 25, were COVID positive during the week ending June 29.

Athletes were subject to strict COVID protocols while in a “closed loop” at the Beijing Winter Olympics and also at last year’s summer Olympics in Tokyo.

Unlike the Olympics, athletes will not have to leave Birmingham soon after their events finish.

Thomas said Australia’s athletes would be permitted to stay and support team mates but not at their competition venues.

“There won’t be an opportunity to go and watch other events because unfortunately those seats will be in public spectating areas, which presents a very high risk of COVID-19 transmission,” she added.

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Tennis-Russian, Belarusian players barred from Wimbledon, British events


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Tennis players from Russia and Belarus will not be allowed to compete at this year’s Wimbledon due to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, the Grand Slam’s organizers All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) said in a statement on Wednesday.

The AELTC said earlier this month it was in talks with the British government on the participation of players from Russia and Belarus in the June 27-July 10 grasscourt Grand Slam.

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The body added on Wednesday that it had a responsibility to play its part in the efforts of government, industry, sporting and creative institutions to “limit Russia’s global influence through the strongest means possible.”

“We recognize that this is hard on the individuals affected, and it is with sadness that they will suffer for the actions of the leaders of the Russian regime,” Ian Hewitt, chairman of the AELTC said in a statement.

Hewitt said the AELTC had “carefully considered” alternative measures that might be taken within the UK Government guidance.

“But given the high profile environment of The Championships the importance of not allowing sport to be used to promote the Russian regime and our broader concerns for public and player (including family) safety, we do not believe it is viable to proceed on any other basis,” he said.

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The AELTC, which earlier planned to announce a decision in mid-May before the entry deadline for the event, said it would “consider and respond accordingly” if circumstances change between now and June.

A ban on Russian players prevents world number two Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev, ranked eighth, from competing in the men’s draw. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova is 15th in the women’s rankings.

Belarus is a key staging area for the invasion, which Russia calls a “special military operation.”

Women’s world number four Aryna Sabalenka and two-times Grand Slam champion Victoria Azarenka of Belarus will be affected.

Tennis governing bodies had banned Russia and Belarus from international team competitions following the invasion.

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Individual players are contractors and many do not reside in their country of birth. Russian and Belarusian players had been allowed to compete on tours but not under the name or flag of their countries.

Russian Tennis Federation president Shamil Tarpischev told the country’s Sport Express newspaper earlier that there was nothing it could do.

“I think this decision is wrong but there is nothing we can change,” Tarpischev said. “The (Russian) Tennis Federation has already done everything it could.

“I don’t want to talk about this, but I will say that this decision goes against the athletes… We are working on the situation, that’s all I can say.”

Wimbledon has not banned athletes from countries since after World War Two, when players from Germany and Japan were not allowed to compete.

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The Lawn Tennis Association, whose events serve as Wimbledon warm-ups, also announced a ban on players from the two countries.

Earlier, Ukrainian players Elina Svitolina and Marta Kostyuk issued statements calling for a blanket ban on Russian and Belarusian athletes from international events.

They were joined by countryman Sergiy Stakhovsky — who had enlisted in Ukraine’s reserve army prior to Russia’s invasion — with the players urging Russian and Belarusian players to make clear their stance on the war.

International athlete-led pressure group Global Athlete said that banning players from the two countries would also “protect these athletes who have no choice to remove themselves from competitions.”

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“These athletes must follow the orders from their countries’ leaders,” it added.

British Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston said last month that he would not be comfortable with a “Russian athlete flying the Russian flag” and winning Wimbledon in London.

Huddleston welcomed the latest decision.

“The UK has taken a leading role internationally to make clear that President (Vladimir) Putin must not be able to use sport to legitimize Russia’s barbaric invasion of Ukraine,” Huddleston said in a statement.

.”..We have set out our position with sport governing bodies and event organizers and will continue to encourage them to take appropriate action for their sport.” (Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai and Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru, additional reporting by Simon Evans; editing by Peter Rutherford and Christian Radnedge)



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Countries agree Russia, Belarus should be barred from hosting international sports events

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WASHINGTON — Russia and Belarus should not be permitted to host, bid for, or be awarded any international sporting events after the invasion of Ukraine, according to a statement signed by sporting officials from dozens of countries and released by the U.S. State Department.

The statement calls on international sporting federations to limit sponsorship opportunities for companies tied to Russian and Belarusian governments. It is signed by officials from the United Kingdom, Italy and Japan, among other countries. China and India are not included in the statement. (Reporting by Caitlin Webber and Kanishka Singh)