Novak Djokovic’s former coach Nikola Pilic has slammed the British Olympic Association for their ban of Russian and Belarusian players from top level sport.
Following Putin’s military invasion on Ukraine, Russian sport has been ostracised from competing in events such as the upcoming World Cup, the Women’s European Championship and Wimbledon.
And the tennis coach, who used to train the current World No. 1, has made his feelings clear about Daniil Medvedev’s possible omission from Wimbledon.
Speaking to Serbian outlet Kurir, Pilic said: ‘It’s just a shame. Did they do something similar when the Americans entered Iraq and killed over a million civilians there?
‘Did they ban their tennis players from playing? They are exaggerating in any sense.’
British Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston suggested US Open champion Daniil Medvedev must give assurances that he condemns the actions of president Vladimir Putin.
Pilic currently runs a tennis academy near Munich where Djokovic and Wimbledon 1991 winner Michael Stich were developed.
The former Croatian tennis player referenced Djokovic’s inactivity and his recent shocking defeat at the Monte Carlo Masters, as a reason why Medvedev should not be excluded from the tournament.
Pilic continued: ‘When you haven’t played for a month, you need so much time after the operation and even more to come back… We’ve seen now with Nole, how it goes’
‘When there is a big break, then big problems arise.’
Russia have faced bans from UEFA and FIFA in recent weeks whilst Russian club Spartak Moscow were also expelled from the Europa League.
Tennis’ governing bodies have also banned Russian and Belarusian athletes from competing under their native flag.