Daniil Medvedev says reporter ‘should be embarrassed’ in heated row at Tokyo 2020 Olympics

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Daniil Medvedev hit out at a reporter over a ‘cheating’ question following his third round win at the Olympics. The world number two refused to answer a question over the image of his country, with Russia banned from Tokyo 2020 and other athletic competitions. He is one of 335 Russian athletes able to compete as part of the Russian Olympic Committee.

Medvedev came through a tough test in his third round match against Fabio Fognini, battling against the severe heat and humidity as well as the Italian.

While this year’s Australian Open finalist is one of the favourites to secure a medal in the men’s singles event, he is not representing Russia at the games.

Russian athletes were banned from competing as a country in athletics back in 2015, after being found guilty of state-sponsored doping.

In December 2019, it was confirmed that they would also be banned from Tokyo 2020.

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Although the country is prohibited from entering the games, Russian athletes are still able to compete thanks to the establishment of the Russian Olympic Committee.

It means that Medvedev, as well as 334 other athletes, are able to compete in the Olympics but Russia’s flag and national anthem cannot be used.

Following his match, which saw him earn a spot in the quarter finals, the 25-year-old was asked about his country’s image and whether Russian athletes still have a stigma of being ‘cheaters’ at the event.

The ATP Finals champion lashed out at the reporter, refusing to answer.

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He said: “First time in my life I’m not gonna answer a question. You should be embarrassed of yourself.”

Medvedev also suggested the reporter shouldn’t be allowed to cover the games, adding: “I think you should wire him from the Olympics, I don’t wanna see him again.”

It wasn’t the first time the two-time Grand Slam finalist lost his cool today, as he struggled with extreme conditions on court.

During his third round encounter against Fabio Fognini, the Russian suggested he could “die” as a result of the heat and humidity.

As temperatures reached 32C with a high 79 per cent humidity, chair umpire Carlos Ramos asked the player whether he could continue.

Medvedev snapped back: “I can finish the match, but I can die. If I die, who will take responsibility?”

Earlier in the week, he had also suggested a change in scheduling so players didn’t have to navigate the tough conditions on court.

The world’s second best male player said: “The matches maybe should start at six, because it actually gets much light on the court. Some tournaments do it.

“I don’t think they’re going to change in the middle of the tournament but that’s what can be done.”

His complaints come as Spain’s Paula Badosa had to be taken off court in a wheelchair during her quarter final today.

The 29th ranked player retired a set down to former French Open finalist Marketa Vondrousova as she failed to manage the hot and humid conditions, and was taken away in a wheelchair with a towel covering her head to shield her from the sun.

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