Daniil Medvedev
U.S. State Department: 15,000 Russians Detained Over Anti-War Protests Photo by TPN/Getty Images

Daniil Medvedev, the US Open champion, has been asked for assurance that he does not support Russian President Vladimir Putin if he is to compete at Wimbledon, British Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston said on Tuesday.

Huddleston claimed that he would not be comfortable with a "Russian athlete flying the Russian flag" and winning the grass-court Grand Slam in London. "Many countries have agreed that they will not allow representatives from Russia to compete. There are also visa issues as well. When it comes to individuals, that is more complex," Huddleston stated at a select committee in parliament when asked about Medvedev competing at Wimbledon. "Absolutely nobody flying the flag for Russia should be allowed or enabled."

Many athletes have multiple or dual citizenships and would be willing to compete as "non-aligned, non-flag bearing entities" but the situation demanded further action, Huddleston continued. "We need some potential assurance that they are not supporters of Putin and we are considering what requirements we may need to try and get some assurances along those lines," he added.

Huddleston claimed to be in discussion with Wimbledon organizers, the All England Lawn Tennis Club, regarding the issue. As included in the current rules, Russian and Belarusian players are permitted to compete on the men's ATP and women's WTA tour but only as neutral athletes.

Russia and Belarus, which helped stage the invasion of Ukraine, are both banned from team events such as the Davis Cup and the Billie Jean King Cup as the sport continues to turn its back on Russian president Putin.

Russian tennis player, Medvedev moved up to No. 1 in the men's world rankings, although he is set to lose top spot to Novak Djokovic following a third-round loss at Indian Wells on Monday. Russian and Belarusian players are allowed to play in the ATP and WTA tours, but not under the name or flag of their countries. Russia was also blocked from defending its Davis Cup and Billie Jean King Cup team titles. Wimbledon will start from June 27 and continue till July 10.

Medvedev once expressed his thought regarding the war earlier this month, "My message is always the same -- I want peace in all of the world."

Daniil Medvedev
Daniil Medvedev of Russia plays a backhand against Gael Monfils of France in their third-round match on Day 8 of the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden on March 14, 2022 in Indian Wells, California. Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

© 2024 Latin Times. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.