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‘They are not receiving money from Putin or Russia,’ Daniil Medvedev, Andrey Rublev, and co obligated to sign a written declaration of not supporting Vladimir Putin in order to compete at Wimbledon

For competing in Wimbledon 2022, Russian athletes will have to write a declaration of not supporting Vladimir Putin.

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev

It was speculated that Russian and Belarussian players may have to go straight up against Russian president Vladimir Putin in order to compete at Wimbledon this year due to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war. In tennis, Russian athletes are allowed to compete on both the ATP and WTA tours provided they play without a flag.

UK’s Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston had earlier said that the British government will go an extra step to assure that Russian players don’t support their President Vladimir Putin. And now, Huddleston has reiterated that the Russian athletes will most likely have to sign a written declaration of not supporting Putin.

“I have had a good meeting with various governing bodies about what we are doing in terms of sanctions and bans for individual athletes,” Huddleston said. “We did make the request to governing bodies relating to individual sportspeople that if they [Russians or Belarusians] wish to participate in a UK sport, they are independent and neutral – and genuinely so.”

“We wish to get the assurance of that in a written declaration that they are not receiving money from Putin, Russia or Belarus. That they will not be making supportive comments about Putin, Russia, or Belarus.”

‘If some individual sports or entities choose to do an outright ban of Russian or Belarusian athletes, then we will support that as well’: Nigel Huddleston

Andrey Rublev and Daniil Medvedev

Huddleston further said that their main motto is to assure that no Russian athlete competing in Britain supports Putin and rather remains neutral. The move is expected to be in play not only in Wimbledon but also in the lead-up tournaments in the UK- Nottingham Open and Queen’s Club Championship. This will affect top athletes like Daniil Medvedev, Andrey Rublev, Karen Khachanov, Aryna Sabalenka, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, and others.

“We are requesting governing bodies or individual events seek that assurance in advance if they are going to allow neutrals to play. If people are saying they are neutral athletes, we want the assurance that they are genuinely neutral and therefore there isn’t any connection with Putin,” he said.

He added that if any sports body chooses to completely ban the Russian athletes, the government will support them. “If some individual sports or entities choose to do an outright ban of Russian or Belarusian athletes, then we will support that as well. But if they chose to go down the neutral route, then we are requesting they get that assurance,” he said.

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