By Alessandro Mastroluca

  • Novak Djokovic and his wife Jelena tested positive for COVID-19
  • Yesterday, his fitness trainer Marco Panichi, Grigor Dimitrov and Borna Coric announced the same news
  • “We organized the tournament believing that the conditions for hosting the Tour had been met” he said in a statement
BELGRADE, SERBIA – Novak Djokovic announced in a statement he tested positive for COVID-19 as his wife Jelena. He organised the Adria Tour, without restrictions for players and fans

The Adria Tour is turning into a PR nightmare for Novak Djokovic. The World No.1, who organised the event, tested positive to COVID-19. Yesterday, Grigor Dimitrov and Borna Coric, who took part to the tour, and the Serbian’s fitness trainer, the Italian Marco Panichi, announced the same news.

 

 

“The moment we arrived in Belgrade we went to be tested. My result is positive, just as Jelena’s, while the results of our children are negative” Djokovic wrote in a statement. “I will remain in self-isolation for the next 14 days, and repeat the test in five days.”

“Everything we did in the past month, we did with a pure heart and sincere intentions. Our tournament meant to unite and share a message of solidarity and compassion throughout the region,” he continued, declaring the tour was born as a philanthropic project, aiming to direct all raised funds towards people in need.

“We organised the tournament at the moment when the virus has weakened, believing that the conditions for hosting the Tour had been met”

It now throws up real questions for the safety of any subsequent events.

Djokovic who complained about the US Open “extreme” protocols regarding hotels, regular tests, and limited staff, contributed to create a show without any reasonable measure to avoid contagion. Tennis stars played basketball, met fans in a crowded square in Zadar, were seen showing their bare torsos jumping and dancing at the disco. In one of those videos, Dimitrov seems perplexed and says something to Coric. The video, published by Spanish paper Marca, clearly highlights also their responsibility and it’s even more striking after they got tested positive. Nobody obliged them to stay and play, nobody forced them to accept those conditions. They stood, they played, they didn’t complain.

READ MORE | Tennis | Djokovic and Nadal divide the tennis world over US Open staging measures, Federations fear impact of no Slams

Tennis. Djokovic admitted: “Virus is still present”

Novak Djokovic in the first round of Roland Garros 2019, France

Novak Djokovic in the first round of Roland Garros 2019, France | (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)

Djokovic’s decisions weren’t illegal. Serbia, the national dedicated website reveals, as of Jun 21, 2020 has confirmed 12,894 cases of COVID-19. All the entry restrictions are lifted, no self-isolation is required requirements upon entry. Serbians aren’t facing restrictions, but they’re strongly advised to respect the social distancing measures and maintain the distance of at least 6.6 ft from others. They’re also strongly recommended to respect the limitations on outdoor public gatherings.

The Serbian confessed he’s opposed to vaccinations, chatted in a series of videos on his social network expressed his social network with Chervin Jafarieh talking about how humans can change the composition of water with their emotions and good vibrations. Both referred to “The hidden messages in water“, a book that the Japanese pseudo-scientist Masaru Emoto wrote in 2004. Did those personal beliefs had an impact in his under-evaluation of the situation and the measures required?

“Unfortunately, this virus is still present, and it is a new reality that we are still learning to cope and live with. I am hoping things will ease with time so we can all resume lives the way they were,” Djokovic wrote.

But his responsibility as an organiser was to know it before the event and try to do everything to learn how to cope with it. Were Dimitrov, Coric, Djokovic infected during the tournament? Nobody knows. But the organisers did nothing to avoid the spreading of the virus among players, fans, and their relatives.

 

 

 

 

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