In another coronavirus-related controversy at the French Open 2020, Spanish tennis star Fernando Verdasco slammed the organizers, as he returned a negative test soon after returning a positive test at the event. Verdasco becomes the first main-draw player to be removed from the draw after testing positive for the virus.
Verdasco issued a statement, in which he slammed the French Open 2020 officials for disallowing him to validate his test results. He confirmed that he carried out two PCR tests and a serology test on his own account, and returned negative results in all of them. He took those tests in different testing centers as well.
“I want to communicate my total frustration and outrage with the organisation of Roland Garros for taking away my right to participate even without giving me the opportunity to take another test with a new sample to confirm that the result of the first could be an error,” Verdasco said.
Verdasco expressed that he contracted COVID-19 in August. He was asymptomatic, and since recovering, multiple tests returned negative results, including the one at the Italian Open.
He took another test at the ongoing Hamburg Open, which was negative. Fernando did not play in Hamburg to better prepare for the French Open 2020.
“My team and family travelled to Paris on Tuesday. They all tested negative except me. I explained my history and situation to try to request another test. Especially after having seen what happened in similar cases with other players” Verdasco said.
“The Roland Garros organisation refused to do another test, even taking into account all these circumstances. And that there were enough days to repeat the tests before the competition and the draw ceremony. Still, I was disqualified,” he further added.
The former Australian Open semi-finalist expressed that every player should have the opportunity of a second test. Especially if a situation like his occurs and if there is enough time to get it done.
Verdasco played at the Italian Open. There, he lost to Damir Dzumhur, another player embroiled in the controversy at Roland Garros. Dzumhur was disqualified from the qualifying draw after his coach tested positive. Dzumhur also expressed that the organizers should allow players a second test.
Earlier, five other players in the qualifying draw saw the same fate, after two players and a coach tested positive.