Novak Djokovic Tests Positive for COVID-19 After Organizing Controversial Tennis Event
"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," said the athlete
Djokovic's announcement comes days after a tennis event that he organized in Zadar, Croatia, came under fire for potentially exposing athletes to the virus during the pandemic. According to CNN, participants Grigor Dimitrov and Borna Coric both tested positive, prompting the quick cancelation of the Adria Tour tournament.
"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," Djokovic said in the statement.
The tennis pro said the event was set up when he thought the virus had "weakened, believing that the conditions for hosting the Tour had been met."
"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 said.
Djokovic added: "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."
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The athlete said that he will self-isolate for the next two weeks and get tested again in five days.
"I am extremely sorry for each individual case of infection," he said. "I hope that it will not complicate anyone’s health situation and that everyone will be fine."
Several tennis players spoke out against the decision to move forward with the tournament, including Chris Evert, who tweeted on Sunday: "I don’t understand... no safe distancing, total physical contact, no face masks, even the fans were without masks.. I don’t get it.. not smart...hope no one else tests positive. Get well Grigor."
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"Boneheaded decision to go ahead with the ‘exhibition’ speedy recovery fellas, but that’s what happens when you disregard all protocols. This IS NOT A JOKE," wrote Nick Kyrgios on Twitter on Monday.
Announcing that he tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday, Dimitrov wrote on Instagram that he wants "to make sure anyone who has been in contact with me during these past days gets tested and takes the necessary precautions."
"I am so sorry for any harm I might have caused. I am back home now and recovering," he captioned a photo of himself wearing a mask. "Thanks for your support and please stay safe and healthy."
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