Disavow Putin or miss Wimbledo...


Disavow Putin or miss Wimbledon, UK Sports Minister tells Medvedev

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The UK Sports Minister believes tennis players need to distance themselves from Vladimir Putin if they're to be allowed play at Wimbledon. 

Nigel Huddleston was appearing before a House of Commons digital, culture, media and sport select committee, and believes strong action needs to be taken against Russian athletes.

His words may send a shiver down the spine of the men's world no.1 tennis player, Daniil Medvedev.

Under guidance from the two major tours - the ATP and WTA - Russian players are still allowed to compete, albeit as neutrals, and without their flag following their country's invasion of Ukraine.

It's been reported by The Times that Grand Slam chiefs are worried about the optics of allowing Russian and Belarussian players compete at their tournaments, even as neutrals.

Huddleston told the committee on Tuesday, "Many countries around the world have agreed that we will not allow representatives from Russia to compete and there are visa implications here as well.

“Nobody flying the flag for Russia should be allowed or enabled to take part, many sports people have dual citizenship and many of us would be willing to allow non-aligned entities but I think it goes beyond that and we need assurances that they [players] are not supporters of Vladimir Putin.

"We are considering what requirements we may need to try and get assurances along those lines.

“In short, would I be comfortable with a Russian athlete flying the Russian flag to compete? No. We are in discussions with the All England Club about this.”

Medvedev hasn't yet disavowed the actions of his president - and he's far from alone in that aspect. Addressing the invasion last month, he offered the wishy-washy statement, "I want peace all over the world", failing to condemn Putin's unlawful actions.

Medvedev isn't the only player that could be affected by such a crackdown. His fellow Russians Andrey Rublev, Aslan Karatsev and Karen Khachanov all occupy spots in the ATP top 30.

There are also two Belarussian players - Aryna Sabalenka and Victoria Azarenka - plus one Russian (Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova  in the women's top 20.

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ATP Daniil Medvedev Russia Tennis Ukraine Vladimir Putin WTA

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