ST. PETERSBURG, October 15. /TASS/. The conduct of US tennis player Sam Querrey, who left Russia without official permission after his coronavirus test returned positive, casts a shadow on the reputation of the ATP and the St. Petersburg Open tournament, the event’s executive director Natalia Kamelzon told TASS on Thursday.
Earlier, ATP press service reported that a St. Petersburg Open participant tested positive for novel coronavirus. After that, Querrey announced he was withdrawing from the event for health reasons. According to New York Times, the US player left Russia aboard a private plane without a permission from health authorities, and is now staying in a neighboring country, where those arriving from Russia do not require a document on negative COVID-19 status. At the moment, Querrey conceals his whereabouts.
"We will not bar him from participating in the future, if he applies. We are not a vindictive tournament," Kamelzon said. "But ATP will conduct an investigation, and they have a whole range of penalties at their disposal - from fines to disqualification. Such unruly conduct affects their reputation and, by implication, casts a shadow on the tournament’s organizers."
"Frankly, we were surprised by such conduct," she continued. "There are rules, and he was aware of them. If your test returned positive, another one is done on the fifth day, and until then a player must be placed in self-isolation. This is what we did, we isolated him in the Four Seasons hotel."
"The tournament was even ready to book a luxury-class suite for him," the St. Petersburg Open director added. "But, regretfully, the events that followed can only be described as childish behavior."
The St. Petersburg Open tournament will end on October 18.