Australian Open tennis organizers have issued a reminder to players and their escorts about their “inappropriate flags” policy, after a video emerged showing Novak Djokovic’s father taking pictures with fans raising Russian flags. Four fans carrying “inappropriate flags and symbols” were questioned by Victoria Police after Wednesday’s quarter-final match between Djokovic and Russian Andrey Rublev.
A video clip posted on social media also showed a fan standing on the stands at Rod Laver Arena holding a Russian flag with the image of President Vladimir Putin on it. Late yesterday, another video clip showed Djokovic’s father, Srdjan, posing for photos with fans carrying Russian flags.
“The players and their teams have been briefed and reminded of the tournament’s policy in relation to flags and symbols and to avoid any potentially disruptive situation,” Tennis Australia said in a statement today. “We continue to work closely with tournament security and law enforcement agencies.”
The flags of Russia and Belarus were banned from Melbourne Park during the tournament, following a complaint from Ukraine’s ambassador to the country. Pictures on social media also showed a fan in the crowd during Wednesday’s game with the letter “Z” on his shirt. Russian and Belarusian players were banned from Wimbledon last year but are competing as singles athletes without national affiliation at Melbourne Park.
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