Novak Djokovic Tests Positive for COVID-19, After Event With No Distancing
Novak Djokovic has tested positive for coronavirus, he confirmed today. The plant-based star tennis player, ranked number one in the world, appeared at the Adria Tour, a series of events in his home region of the Balkans, to promote up and coming tennis stars. The tour, which he organized, did not practice any social distancing measures, which he is being widely criticized for. The plant-based athlete who credits eating vegan with his recent surge to number one and overcoming asthma and allergies, will now self-isolate. His wife Jelena and two of the people who work for him also tested positive, he revealed. Several other players on the tour have also come down with the virus.
The test comes on the heels of Djokovic's Adria Tour competition, held without the social distancing measures recommended by the CDC here in the states. Since that competition, several other players including Grigor Dimitrov, Borna Coric, and Viktor Troicki, have confirmed they contracted the virus. The Official Tour of ATP tennis events, have been on hold since February, and are expected to resume in August. The Adria Tour is not an ATP event.
The Adria Tour took place in the Balkans with 'zero social distancing'
Djokovic defended putting on the Adria Tour without practicing any measures of social distancing, according to Sky News sports correspondent, Martha Kelner, who reported on the controversial events.
"Fans were able to freely mingle with players who also played basketball and danced in nightclubs," Kelner reported. Two members of Djokovic's support staff and his wife Jelena also tested positive. So far, four others on the Adria Tour have tested positive as well.
In his statement, Djokovic defended his decision to hold the Adria tour in the Balkans: "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.
"The tour has been designed to help both established and up and coming tennis players from south-eastern Europe to gain access to some competitive tennis while the various tours are on hold due to the COVID-19 situation.
"It was all born with a philanthropic idea to direct all raised funds towards people in need and it warmed my heart to see how everybody strongly responded to this."
He added that the events had been organized "at the moment when the virus has weakened" leaving planners to believe 'that the conditions for hosting the tour had been met."
"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 said in a statement.
"I am extremely sorry for each individual case of infection," he added. "I hope that it will not complicate anyone's health situation and that everyone will be fine. I will remain in self-isolation for the next 14 days, and repeat the test in five days."