Wimbledon could ban Russian’s World No.2 Daniil Medvedev from competing in the tournament this year over fears that a win could “boost [President] Vladimir Putin’s regime amid the invasion of Ukraine,” according to a report in mirror.co.uk.
While Russian players can compete without flags or anthems in the wake of Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, the report said that the All England Club could impose stricter measures on Russian players, including Medvedev. The report added that the All England Club had been advised that its independent tournament status means it “could implement a ban on Russian players that fail to condemn the actions of Putin—and not face legal repercussions”.
As with other tournaments on the tour, including the majors, which have remained neutral “due to fears they could be taken to court”, Wimbledon can take stricter measures as the tournament “possesses a different status”, the report added. A spokesperson for the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club appears to have confirmed that they may ask Russian athletes to maybe sign a form condemning Putin’s action in order to compete at Wimbledon, according to the report.
“Private member clubs have more freedom as to who to allow in or not. If you are running the main tennis tour, you have the freedom to ban players—if found guilty of match-fixing or doping, for instance—but you must show that this course of action is reasonable. In this instance, if the tours took strong action, Russians players could claim they’re being prevented from making a living for no fault of theirs. But that’s not so much of an issue for Wimbledon,” the spokesman said.
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