Sharapova could carry Russian flag at Olympics

Russia’s sports minister says French Open champion Maria

Sharapova is among contenders to carry the Russian Olympic team

flag at the London Games.

Vitaly Mutko denies claims by the president of the Russian

Tennis Federation, Shamil Tarpischev, who said Tuesday the

top-ranked Sharapova had been chosen for the honor.

Mutko tells the R-Sports news agency that Sharapova ”is really

one of the contenders … but there’s a special procedure for the


Mutko did not say when the flag bearer will be chosen.

Top-ranked Novak Djokovic is also in line to carry the flag for

Serbia at the London Olympics opening ceremony July 27.