Tennis star makes Covid cover-up claims


Alize Cornet suggested there was a coronavirus outbreak at the French Open

Tennis player Alize Cornet has claimed that the French Open suffered an outbreak of Covid cases that were covered up by players.

Speaking to L’Equipe in her homeland, Cornet said that there was an “epidemic” at the Grand Slam in Paris earlier this month which “no one talked about”.

“In the locker room, everyone got it and we said nothing,” she added, recalling how Barbora Krejcikova withdrew from the tournament and that the “whole locker room” was sick.

“We all might have had the flu. The thing is, we had the three symptoms, [like an] itchy throat, we played and everything was fine, it’s fine. At Roland Garros, yes, I think there have been a few cases and it was a tacit agreement between us,” Cornet said.

The 32-year-old went on to say that players would not self-test so as not to get into “trouble” and have to pull out. 

“Afterwards I saw girls wearing masks, maybe because they knew [they might have it] and didn’t want to pass on. You also have to have a civic spirit,” she concluded.

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Matteo Berrettini was a beaten finalist at last year’s tournament. © Julian Finney / Getty Images
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Later backtracking on Twitter, Cornet wanted to clarify that she only “suspected” a few cases of Covid at Roland Garros without having any proof. 

“It was above all to emphasize that the virus was now part of our lives and that we had to deal with it,” she added.

Cornet’s remarks come during Wimbledon, which has already seen withdrawals due to Covid cases. 

This week, former runners-up Matteo Berrettini and Marin Cilic were forced to pull out after contracting the disease which meant that 40% of the world’s top 10 males were missing from the tournament when also considering the ban on Russians that has sidelined world number one Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev.

On Wednesday, Wimbledon organizers the All England Club announced that they are strengthening Covid protocols to prevent a further spread of the virus. 

According to BBC Sport, this will entail better ventilation and increased hand sanitizer stations while masks will be available for players that wish to use them.

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