Sport continues to be affected by the invasion of Russia and Ukraine. For the moment, in tennis the only consequence that has been has been the suspension of the Russian team from the Davis cup, but to this day there have been no individual sanctions on the players themselves. However, Wimbledon It could be the first major tournament to start with these measures, according to the UK sports minister.
Nigel Huddleston He spoke at a conference this Tuesday in which he was consulted on several aspects related to the sanctions that the British government is imposing on Russian personalities and in this aspect he was forceful in presenting his position: “Absolutely, no one should be allowed or enabled to fly the Russian flag.”
In this sense, he was asked if in June, when the British Grand Slam is held, any measures will be taken for Russian tennis players. “I think it should go beyond that, I think we need to have some certainty that (the athletes) are not supporters of Vladimir Putin and we are considering what requirements we may need to obtain guarantees in that regard. In short, would I feel comfortable with a Russian athlete flying the Russian flag? No”.
This way, Daniel Medvedev, current number 1 in the world, could be prevented from participating in Wimbledon. Although this is not yet official and Huddleston He explained that they are already in dialogue with the All-England Lawn Tennis Club to see how to proceed without coming into conflict with the bodies that govern the racket sport.
“We are looking at this issue of what we do with people and we are thinking about the implications of this, because we don’to I think people would very clearly accept people waving the Russian flag, particularly if there is any support for Putin and his regime”, insisted the minister, who also asked to achieve a “broad global consensus” on what to do with Russian athletes.
For its part, Medvedevwho was surprisingly eliminated from Indian Wells on Monday and will therefore cede the top of the ranking this weekend to Novak Djokovic, was consulted about his view about this type of measure that could affect him. “It is always difficult to talk about this topic because I want to play tennis, play in different countries. I want to promote my sport, I want to promote what I am doing in my country safely, and right now the situation is that that’s the only way I can play.”
For the moment, the International Tennis Federation (ITF, for its acronym in English) decided to exclude the Russian team from the Davis Cup, despite being the current champion, due to the invasion of Ukraine. However, no individual sanction or punishment has been announced on the athletes. The measure is similar to the one taken by FIFA when suspending the soccer team from the Qualifiers, ahead of the World Cup in Qatar. The body also prevented Russian clubs from participating in international competitions under its wing.
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