Russia's sports minister says that French Open champion Maria Sharapova is among contenders to carry the Russian Olympic team's flag at the London Games.
Vitaly Mutko denies claims by the president of the Russian Tennis Federation, Shamil Tarpischev, who said Tuesday that 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 selection."
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.