Wimbledon officials are reportedly ready to exclude Daniil Medvedev from this year’s tournament for fear a victory could boost Russian President Vladimir Putin’s regime amid his ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
Currently, the three main tennis tournaments administered by the ATP, WTA and ITF have allowed Russian and Belarusian athletes to continue playing as long as they compete under a neutral flag and without any song.
The Telegraph, however, claims that the All England Club has been informed that they can go a step further and ban athletes from those counties who have not condemned Putin without having legal consequences.
A person who has worked closely with the AELTC said: ‘Private member clubs have greater freedom as to who they should allow or not, so they would not be subject to the same discrimination laws as the tours.
‘If you run the main tennis tour, you have the freedom to exclude players – if, for example, they have been found guilty of match-fixing or doping – but you must be able to show that this approach is reasonable.
“In this case, if the trips took strong steps, Russian players could argue that they will be prevented from earning a living without their own fault. However, that is not so much a problem for Wimbledon.”
The list of players for Wimbledon has a deadline of mid-May, so organizers are expected to release their expected entry requirements within the next month.
World No. 2 Medvedev would likely pose the biggest threat to a Russian winning the trophy when he finished second at the Australian Open in January.
As millions of Ukrainians are forced to flee their country in the midst of Russia’s invasion, Wimbledon bosses are eager not to create a platform where victory for Russia would strengthen Putin’s regime.
Sports Minister Nigel Huddlestone recently suggested that any Russian or Belarusian athlete wishing to compete should declare that they do not support Putin’s regime.
‘We want security in a written statement that they do not receive money from Putin, Russia or Belarus [and] that they will not make supportive comments to Putin, Russia or Belarus, he said.
MORE: Ukrainian tennis star Elina Svitolina takes a break from the sport amid ‘unbearable pain’ over Russia’s invasion
MORE: Daniil Medvedev reacts to losing world No. 1 spot and reveals Novak Djokovic’s goal
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