US Open champion Daniil Medvedev, currently ranked No. 1 in the world, could be excluded from Wimbledonalong with other Russian and Belarusian athletes, unless they give an “assurance” that they do not support Russian President Vladimir Putin amid the invasion of the country in Ukrainesaid British Sport Minister Nigel Huddleston on Tuesday.
“Many countries have agreed that they will not allow representatives from Russia to take part in the competition. There are also visa problems. When it comes to individuals, it’s more complex,” Huddleston said at a session of the UK Parliament’s select committee when asked if Medvedev would compete at Wimbledon.
“Absolutely no one should be allowed or enabled to fly the flag of Russia. We need a potential assurance that they are not supporters of Putin and we are looking at what requirements we might need in order to get assurances in that direction.”
Wimbledon starts on June 27th and runs until July 10th this year.
Medvedev, 26, was asked after the war Earlier this month and replied, “My message is always the same — I want peace around the world.”
Huddleston said Tuesday that many athletes have multiple or dual citizenships and would be willing to compete as “nonaligned, nonflag-carrying units.”
Russian and Belarusian players are currently allowed to play as neutral athletes on the ATP and WTA tours, meaning they cannot play under their country’s name or flag.
Meanwhile, WTA boss Steve Simon said he doesn’t want players to be banned if they do not publicly criticize the “decisions of an authoritarian leadership”.
“You never know what the future holds,” Simon told the BBC on Tuesday. “But I can tell you that we have never banned athletes from participating in our tour due to political positions that their leadership might take.
“So it would take something very significant for that to change, but again we don’t know where that’s going. It is my firm belief that these individual athletes should not be the ones who should be punished by the decisions of an authoritarian leadership that is obviously doing terrible, reprehensible things.”
Russia was previously banned from the Davis Cup and Billie Jean King Cup after the country began attacking Ukraine last month.
https://nypost.com/2022/03/17/daniil-medvedev-could-face-wimbledon-ban-unless-he-condemns-putin/ Daniil Medvedev could face a Wimbledon ban if he doesn’t condemn Putin