The Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) has reported a financial loss due to the fines it received for banning Russian and Belarusian players from tournaments last summer. The LTA, which organizes grass-court tournaments in the run-up to Wimbledon, was fined $1.75 million by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) and Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) for refusing to allow players from the two countries to compete following the invasion of Ukraine.
The two organizations also threatened to strip the LTA of the tournaments and impose further fines if the ban continued, which led to the British body lifting the ban.
LTA Statement on Russian and Belarusian Players at Events in 2023:
The LTA banned Russian and Belarusian players from their tournaments last year, resulting in penalties from the ATP and WTA tours. If the ban was repeated this year, it could lead to the cancellation of their professional tennis events. The LTA has worked with the UK Government, ATP, WTA, ITF, and the All England Club to find a solution for 2023. They have agreed that Russian and Belarusian players and support staff who wish to participate in their events must sign neutrality declarations, which will be enforced by the tours. The LTA will have a zero-tolerance approach to any flags, symbols, or actions supporting Russia, Belarus, or the war in their venues.
LTA chief executive Scott Lloyd revealed that the governing body will announce a loss for 2022, although an appeal to the WTA could result in $375,000 being paid back following this summer’s tournaments. The LTA has asked the ATP to reduce its fine and is waiting for the outcome.
The loss has affected the LTA’s investment in other areas, but Lloyd emphasized that the organization has not fundamentally retracted from its performance competition calendar for 2023. Additionally, successful bids to host the Davis Cup Finals and the Billie Jean King Cup Finals contributed to the overall loss.