WIMBLEDON are "ready to ban" world No2 Daniil Medvedev from this summer's tournament over fears a win for the Russian coudl be a boost for Vladimir Putin.

The All England Club have been told their independent status, away from the main tennis tours, means they can ban Russian and Belarusian stars who fail to denounce Putin – and not risk any legal ramifications.

The ATP, WTA and ITF Tours have allowed the players from those countries to carry on competing but under no national flag.

The country has been suspended from the team tennis tournaments, the Davis Cup and the Billie Jean King Cup, for which they are reigning champions in both.

The recent revelation of shocking images of war crimes in Kyiv has escalated calls for Russians and Belarusians to be banned from Wimbledon.

The prospect of Medvedev, 26, holding the trophy aloft could be seen as a success for Russia and the Putin regime.

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The US Open champ, whose best result at Wimbledon was reaching round four in 2021, has so far remained tight-lipped on his stance – publicly denouncing Putin's war on Ukraine carries a maximum 15-year jail term for Russians.

As reported by The Telegraph, an AELTC spokesperson said: “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.

“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, Russian 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.”

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Wimbledon will need to make a final decision in the next month with the entry deadline set for mid-May.

The main draws start on June 27.

Other grass-court events such as Queen's, Eastbourne and Birmingham may be unable to enforce the ban as they are run by the LTA under the respective tours.

Last week, sports Minister Nigel Huddleston insisted Russian and Belarusian players must sign declaration forms distancing themselves from Putin and the invasion of Ukraine.

On the men's ATP rankings, there are four Russians in the top 100 and only one Belarusian.

In comparison on the women's WTA list, there are ten Russians and Belarusians inside the world's top 100 with Minsk-born Aryna Sabalenka ranked in fifth spot.

Medvedev is facing a race against time to be fit for Wimbledon.

He had surgery this week following his Miami Open exit to fix a small hernia problem and revealed he would be sidelined for "one to two months".

Defending champion Novak Djokovic does look on course to be allowed to compete despite his unvaccinated status.

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