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Novak Djokovic has confirmed that he has tested positive for coronavirus.
The plant-based tennis ace – currently the world’s number one player – revealed the news in an official statement.
The positive test result follows Djokovic’s Adria Tour competition, which has seen a number of players including Grigor Dimitrov, Borna Coric, and Viktor Troicki contract the virus. Official ATP tennis events have been on hold since February, and are currently poised to restart in mid-August. This tour was not an ATP Tour event.
According to Sky News sports correspondent Martha Kelner, the tour took place in the Balkans with ‘zero social distancing’.
“Fans were able to freely mingle with players who also played basketball and danced in nightclubs,” said Kelner.
Two members of Djokovic’s support staff, as well as his wife Jelena, tested positive. The player says his children have not been infected.
‘Solidarity and compassion’
In his statement, Djokovic – who suggested earlier this year that he is anti-vaccinations – said: “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.”
‘The virus is still present’
He added that the tournament had been organized ‘at the moment when the virus has weakened’ – leaving event 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,” said Djokovic.
“I am extremely sorry for each individual case of infection. 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.”