Wimbledon has been stripped of it ranking points ©Getty Images

The Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP), Women's Tennis Association (WTA) and the International Tennis Federation (ITF) have stripped Wimbledon of its ranking points after its organisers banned Russian and Belarusian athletes from the competition.

The significant decision by the three organisations effectively makes the Grand Slam tournament an exhibition with athletes competing in the men's, women's, junior and wheelchair events unable to obtain or defend the points they acquired last year.

Grand Slams, such as Wimbledon, offer a maximum of 2,000 ranking points for the winner.

"The ability for players of any nationality to enter tournaments based on merit, and without discrimination, is fundamental to our Tour," the ATP said in a statement.

"The decision by Wimbledon to ban Russian and Belarusian players from competing in the UK this summer undermines this principle and the integrity of the ATP Ranking system.

"It is also inconsistent with our Rankings agreement.

"Absent a change in circumstances, it is with great regret and reluctance that we see no option but to remove ATP Ranking points from Wimbledon for 2022."

The International Tennis Federation has followed suit, taking away the ranking points from the junior and wheelchair events.

It said: "Our rules and agreements exist in order to protect the rights of players as a whole.

Daniil Medvedev is one of the athletes to be affected by Wimbledon's ban ©Getty Images
Daniil Medvedev is one of the athletes to be affected by Wimbledon's ban ©Getty Images

"Unilateral decisions of this nature, if unaddressed, set a damaging precedent for the rest of the Tour.

"Discrimination by individual tournaments is simply not viable on a Tour that operates in more than 30 countries."

The All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) announced last month that it had decided to prohibit Russian and Belarusian athletes from competing at the famous competition.

Men's world number two Daniil Medvedev of Russia and women's world number seven Aryna Sabalenka are among those who will not be able to take to the Wimbledon courts.

Athletes from the two countries have been able to participate on the ATP Tour and WTA Tour as neutrals, which is supported by the ITF.

"As a result of the AELTC’s position that it will not honour its obligation to use the WTA Rankings for entry into Wimbledon and proceed with a partial field not based on merit, the WTA has made the difficult decision to not award WTA ranking points for this year’s Wimbledon Championships," the WTA said.

The ITF remarked that the sanction is a "protective measure that upholds the principle of open entry to international competition based on merit and protects the integrity of ITF international tennis competitions".

The ATP Player Council, which includes Spain's Rafael Nadal who has been a vocal critic of the ban, recommended for Wimbledon to be removed of its rankings as a result of breaching the ATP's, WTA's and ITF's united neutrality policy.

AELTC chairman Ian Hewitt claimed that the organisation had "no viable alternative" but to impose a blanket ban taking on guidance from the United Kingdom Government regarding limiting Russian influence.

Rafael Nadal, a vocal critic of Wimbledon's ban, is a member of the ATP Player Council ©Getty Images
Rafael Nadal, a vocal critic of Wimbledon's ban, is a member of the ATP Player Council ©Getty Images

The ATP rejected this defence due to it being "informal".

"We greatly value our long-standing relationships with Wimbledon and the LTA and do not underestimate the difficult decisions faced in responding to recent UK Government guidance.

"However, we note that this was informal guidance, not a mandate, which offered an alternative option that would have left the decision in the hands of individual players competing as neutral athletes through a signed declaration."

The ITF also rebuked UK Government intervention, stating that "it is not the politicians who decide who can take part in our competitions".

While the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) also banned competitors from Russia and Belarus, the three international organisations have allowed its ranking points to remain provided there are other events available at the time.