American tennis player Sam Querrey tested positive for COVID-19 at the St Petersburg Open tournament organisers said in a statement. Querrey, ranked 49, was then removed from the tournament on Monday. His wife and son also tested positive together.
At this, the Russian authorities placed Querrey in isolation. However, he clandestinely flew outside in a private jet along with his family.
“Currently, the press is actively discussing the act of a participant in the main draw of the tournament – American tennis player Sam Querrey,” read a statement on spbopen.ru.
As per the ATP regulations and the sanitary protocol of the tournament, all overseas players are mandated to pass the Covid-19 test and only if they receive a negative result can they come to the stadium, get accredited, start preparing for the tournament and participate in it.
Players have to take the test every four days. Sam Querrey took the test upon arrival on October 7. Both he and his wife tested negative. However, in the test taken on October 11, Sam Querrey and his whole family tested positive for coronavirus, the authorities confirmed the same day.
According to ATP protocol and the rules of Rospotrebnadzor, the main Russian authority overseeing public events, including sporting events, Sam Querrey was removed from the tournament and isolated in a Four Seasons hotel room.
Although Sam Querrey was scheduled to retest on Thursday, October 15, he defied the ATP rules and tournament sanitary protocol. As recorded by hotel surveillance cameras, at 5.45am on October 13, Sam Querrey along with his family left the hotel without notifying the reception.
He then left the country in a private jet along with his family. This action from him has been decried by the tennis fraternity. The ATP sent an email to players following the incident calling it “a serious breach of protocol” and adding “we are taking this matter extremely seriously and an investigation is under way”.