Wimbledon in talks with Government over ‘complex issue’ with regards to Russian players competing at SW19
Wimbledon officials are in ongoing talks with the UK Government regarding the participation of Russian and Belarusian players in this year’s championships.
Reports have suggested men’s world No 2 Daniil Medvedev could be banned from the tournament due to fears a Russian victory would boost Vladimir Putin’s regime amid the invasion of Ukraine.
Russian and Belarusian athletes have so far been permitted to continue playing in ATP, WTA and ITF competitions as long as they do so under a neutral flag and with no anthem played.
Wimbledon news: All England Club ready to ban Daniil Medvedev and co amid fears images could boost Putin
But it is understood the All England Club, which hosts Wimbledon, may be allowed to implement a ban on players from those countries without risk of legal repercussions due to its independent tournament status.
Organisers are currently liaising with a number of bodies, including Government and the Lawn Tennis Association, ahead of announcing a verdict before next month’s entry deadline.
“We have noted the UK Government’s guidance regarding the attendance of Russian and Belarusian individuals in a neutral capacity at sporting events in the UK,” read a statement from the All England Club.
“This remains a complex and challenging issue, and we are continuing to engage in discussion with the UK Government, the LTA, and the international governing bodies of tennis.
“We plan to announce a decision in relation to Wimbledon ahead of our entry deadline in mid-May.”
Wimbledon is scheduled to take place from Monday, June 27 until Sunday, July 10.
UK sports minister Nigel Huddleston has previously called for all Russian and Belarusian athletes to prove they are “genuinely neutral” and give assurances they do not support or receive money from Putin or the Russian regime.
US Open champion Medvedev is currently the most high-profile tennis player from those countries. The 26-year-old is a doubt to play at the forthcoming French Open after undergoing hernia surgery.
Compatriot Andrey Rublev is eighth in the men’s world rankings, while Karen Khachanov and Aslan Karatsev are 24th and 31st respectively and Belarus’ Ilya Ivashka is 42nd.
Belarusians Aryna Sabalenka and Victoria Azarenka are among the WTA tour’s top 50 ranked players, in addition to Russians Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Veronika Kudermetova, Daria Kasatkina and Ludmilla Samsonova.
Asked specifically last month whether Medvedev would be allowed to participate at Wimbledon this year, Huddleston said: “Absolutely nobody flying the flag for Russia should be allowed or enabled.
“We need some potential assurance that they are not supporters of Vladimir Putin. We’re considering what requirements we may need.
“Would I be comfortable with a Russian athlete flying the Russian flag? No.
“When it comes to individuals, that gets a bit more complex so we are looking at and talking to various sports in terms of what the response and requirements should be there.”
Tennis umpire hit with lifetime ban for manipulating scoring in several matches
ITIA comes down hard on corrupt official.
Novak Djokovic gets good news for 2023 US Open and other tournaments in America
Novak Djokovic is set to return to the United States.
Joao Sousa opens up about torrent of death threats, abuse, insults on social media from gamblers
Something needs to be done about social media abuse, says Joao Sousa.
Former Dutch No 1 says ATP top 20 is weaker than a decade ago, urges sport to move with the times
Robin Haase on the state of the game.
WATCH: Novak Djokovic rewards youngster after his lost credit card is returned at basketball match
This way for some wholesome content featuring Novak Djokovic.
Carlos Alcaraz hopes to inspire ‘beast’ Fernando Alonso to a 33rd F1 race win
Carlos Alcaraz a big fan of Fernando Alonso.
Holger Rune wants to ‘put on a show on court’ and hopes to be part of new Big Three
Holger Rune to become one of the great entertainers in tennis?
Bianca Andreescu’s fresh injury update as medical results are revealed
Bianca Andreescu has got the medical results back on the ankle injury she suffered in Miami.
Who are Novak Djokovic’s sponsors?
Novak Djokovic has plenty of big-money backers.
Billie Jean King could be awarded Congressional Gold Medal
Billie Jean King could become the first female athlete to receive the Congressional Gold Medal.