US tennis ace Sam Querrey has become embroiled in a scandal that could lead to a hefty fine and lengthy disqualification, as he fled Russia on a private jet after testing positive for coronavirus.
The player was set to take part in the ATP 500 St. Petersburg Open, but was forced to withdraw from the competition after receiving his Covid-19 test results. He was replaced by Viktor Troicki in the main draw.
Querrey, who is ranked 49th in the men’s tour, was instructed to undergo a 14-day quarantine in his hotel, together with his wife and an eight-month son, who were also infected with Covid-19.
However, the player’s plans suddenly changed after he reportedly received a call from Russian health authorities, who said a doctor would visit them, adding that the three might have to be hospitalized depending on the symptoms they presented with.
The couple’s fear of forced hospitalization and of potentially being separated from their infant son led to Querrey hiring a private jet to leave Russia, in violation of Covid-19 protocols.
“The ATP is aware of an incident regarding a player’s serious breach of protocol relating to COVID-19 at this week’s St. Petersburg Open” pic.twitter.com/ZatxI4qym3
— Jon Wertheim (@jon_wertheim) October 14, 2020
The Querrey family reportedly crossed the Russian border and landed in a nearby European country that doesn’t require Covid-19 tests on entry. This embroiled him in what would become a serious scandal.
The Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) said it was aware of Querrey’s actions, which could lead to serious consequences, including a ban from competing.
If the ATP deem Sam Querrey’s protocol breach a major offense and possibly injurious to the tour, which is what their email implies, he could be fined up to $100k and/or suspended from the ATP for a period of up to three years. pic.twitter.com/gu87csR1iW
— Tumaini Carayol (@tumcarayol) October 14, 2020
“The ATP is aware of the incident regarding a player’s serious breach of protocol relating to Covid-19 at this week’s St. Petersburg Open. Adhering to health and safety protocols is critical to ensure events take place safely and within the guidelines established by local authorities. Players and their support team members are reminded that breaches of protocol can jeopardize an event’s ability to operate, and have repercussions on the rest of the tour,” the body said.
Querrey may be facing severe sanctions from the ATP, including a fine up to $100,000 and a lengthy disqualification of up to three years.