Covid-19 protocol: the back-pedaling of Roland-Garros

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Covid-19 protocol: the back-pedaling of Roland-Garros


Now, players infected during the summer could play despite testing positive. Verdasco, disqualified before the modification, cries scandal.


Novak Djokovic (here after his victory in Rome) and the other “infected” of the summer are the big beneficiaries of the new Covid protocol adopted by Roland-Garros. EPA / Riccardo Antimiani / POOL


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Novak Djokovic (here after his victory in Rome) and the other “infected” of the summer are the big beneficiaries of the new Covid protocol adopted by Roland-Garros. EPA / Riccardo Antimiani / POOL


Novak Djokovic will be able to sleep more peacefully. As revealed by “L’Équipe” on Monday, Roland-Garros modified its Covid-19 protocol in order to take into account the notion of “prior art”. In other words, the organizer will take into account the presence of antibodies dating from a summer infection, as the world No.1, Grigor Dimitrov, Borna Coric or Benoît Paire have known.

“The modification of the ARS (Regional Health Agency) is to now accept non-contagiousness on the anteriority of the disease if it is documented by a medical file and validated by medical experts, which is favorable for players, wrote the FFT in a statement. Unfortunately, we only received this decision on Friday evening. ” A last particularly meaningful sentence since, just before, Fernando Verdasco, infected during the summer, had been excluded from the tournament for a positive control.

Controlled negative in Rome, Hamburg then in Paris after his positive result, the Madrilenian had already said “indignant”, Friday, by the rigidity of the organizers; who refused to take into account his medical history. Verdasco was therefore deprived of Roland-Garros because of his level of antibodies. Exactly like Damir Dzumhur, trapped by that of his coach Petar Popovic, who promised to attack the tournament. A fight that seems well underway since these two players could have participated according to the new protocol!

“To further strengthen my indignation, I learn that Roland Garros has changed its rules (…), added the Spaniard in a second message on social networks. “And what about me? No action is taken to correct the mistake made and here I am purely and simply excluded from the picture. I have just been told that there is nothing to do. I feel helpless. ” As a reminder, Fernando Verdasco, 36 years old and 59th in the world, was stopped by the coronavirus (in New York) when he had chained 67 participations in Grand Slam tournaments in a row, in the footsteps of record holder Feliciano Lopez (74, current series).

By changing its rules during the tournament, Roland Garros created the conditions for terrible injustice for a few. But he also protected himself from the media tsunami caused by the exclusion of a positive but healthy Novak Djokovic who was not contagious.

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