Daniil Medvedev trophy defence in major doubt as ITF issue sanctions on Russia and Belarus

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New world No 1 Daniil Medvedev looks increasingly unlikely to be able to defend his Davis Cup triumph this year after the International Tennis Federation announced their sanctions on the Russian and Belarusian tennis authorities. Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the ITF have cancelled all their organised events in Russia and Belarus. They have also placed an immediate suspension on the tennis federations for both countries.

Medvedev played a huge role in Russia winning the 2021 Davis Cup.

But these sanctions could put an end to the team’s hopes of defending their title.

However, the ITF are yet to confirm if Russian and Belarusian athletes can compete neutrally, as has been suggested by Ukraine tennis star Elina Svitolina.

A statement from the ITF reads: “The International Tennis Federation (ITF) condemns Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and its facilitation by Belarus.

“In addition to the cancellation of all ITF events in those countries, the ITF Board has today announced the immediate suspension of the Russian Tennis Federation (RTF) and Belarus Tennis Federation (BTF) from ITF membership and from participation in ITF international team competition until further notice.

“The ITF remains in close contact with the Ukraine Tennis Federation and stands in solidarity with the people of Ukraine.”

There has also been a joint statement released from all the international tennis governing bodies.

The statement condemns the invasion of Ukraine and outlines what the authorities have been doing in light of it.

It reads: “A deep sense of distress, shock and sadness has been felt across the entire tennis community following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in the past week.

“Our thoughts are with the people of Ukraine, and we commend the many tennis players who have spoken out and taken action against this unacceptable act of aggression. We echo their calls for the violence to end and peace to return.

“The safety of the tennis community is our most immediate collective priority. The focus of the WTA and ATP in particular in recent days has been on contacting current and former players, and other members of the tennis community from Ukraine and neighbouring countries, to check on their safety and offer any assistance.

“The international governing bodies of tennis stand united in our condemnation of Russia’s actions and, as a result, are in agreement with the following decisions and actions:

“The WTA and ATP Boards have made the decision to suspend the WTA / ATP combined event, scheduled this October in Moscow.

“The ITF Board has made the decision to suspend the Russian Tennis Federation and Belarus Tennis Federation membership and to withdraw their entries from all ITF international team competition until further notice.

“This action follows the cancellation of all ITF tournaments in Russia and Belarus indefinitely.

“At this time, players from Russia and Belarus will continue to be allowed to compete in international tennis events on Tour and at the Grand Slams. However, they will not compete under the name or flag of Russia or Belarus until further notice.”


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