Wimbledon ‘ready to ban’ Daniil Medvedev from tournament as fears grow a win could boost Vladimir Putin
Daniil Medvedev could be banned from Wimbledon as fears grow that any victory for the Russian at the All-England Club could serve as a boost to the profile of Vladimir Putin, according to a report in the Telegraph. Medvedev’s participation at SW19 is by no means guaranteed after the Russian said he was set for a hernia operation that could rule him out of the French Open and Wimbledon.
Russia's Daniil Medvedev attends a press conference after losing to Poland's Hubert Hurkacz in their men's singles fourth round match on the eighth day of the 2021 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Tennis Club in Wimbledon,
The All-England Club (AELTC) are ready to ban Daniil Medvedev from this year’s Wimbledon, according to a report in the Telegraph.
Simon Briggs reports that The All-England Club’s independent status means that they could apply bans to players without the threat of legal repercussions. The ATP and the WTA have allowed Russian and Belarusian athletes to continue competing but in the absence of their national flag or anthem in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
The Telegraph quotes a source close to the AELTC, who says that its status as a private members' club gives it greater freedom to act compared to the ATP or the WTA. The AELTC’s status allows it to decide who to admit or not while the tours could be held to legal account if it was deemed that their actions were not reasonable, and had denied players the ability to earn a living through no fault of their own.
“Private member clubs have more freedom as to who to allow in or not, so they wouldn’t be subject to the same discrimination laws as the tours,” the source told the Telegraph.
“If you are running the main tennis tour, you have the freedom to ban players – if they have been found guilty of match-fixing or doping, for instance – but you have to be able to show that this course of action is reasonable.
“In this instance, if the tours took strong action, Russians players could argue that they are being prevented from making a living through no fault of their own. That is not so much of an issue for Wimbledon, however.”
Wimbledon’s entry deadline is mid-May, so the AELTC are set to make a decision in the coming weeks, adds the report. Medvedev, however, may miss the event after announcing over the weekend that he was due to undergo surgery for an on-going hernia issue. But any decision would be applicable to all athletes.
Sports minister Nigel Huddleston has previously said that Medvedev - and other Russian and Belarusian athletes - could be banned from Wimbledon unless he gives “assurances” that he does not support Russian president Vladimir Putin, saying in March that government is in talks with the AELTC regarding their stance for Wimbledon, which starts on June 27.
Huddleston doubled down on that sentiment last week, adding: “We wish to get assurance in a written declaration that they are not receiving money from Putin, Russia or Belarus [and] that they will not be making supportive comments of Putin, Russia or Belarus.”
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