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Russian fifth seed Andrey Rublev has revealed he was allowed into the country for the Australian Open despite being Covid-positive.
Rublev continued his powerhouse start to 2022 on Thursday night, smashing Ricardas Berankis 6-4 6-2 6-0 to book his spot in the third round.
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However the 24-year-old made the staggering admission after the match that he was positive for Covid when he was allowed into the country.
“I am not being tested personally now because I just got over the coronavirus,” he told European sports channel Sport Klub.
“When I flew to Australia, I was still positive, but the level of Covid SS, as it is called, I will not lie, it was very low and not dangerous.
“I was allowed to enter the country. In addition, I spent more than 10 days in quarantine.”
The Australian Department of Health's 'inbound international travel' regulations states: "If you have had Covid-19 and recovered but continue to test positive (otherwise known as persistent shedding), you will be eligible for an exemption to be allowed to travel."
There are some tweets popping up regarding Andrey Rublev saying (via Sportsklub) he was still positive for covid-19 when he flew to Australia. If true, just know this can happen and is detailed in the Australian Department of Health "inbound international travel" regulations: pic.twitter.com/dSslvHFDfM
— Gaspar Ribeiro Lança (@gasparlanca) January 20, 2022
At check-in, such applicants must provide a positive PCR test result from no more than three days before the flight and a valid medical certificate.
But despite Rublev not breaking any rules, the revelation still caused some anger amongst the general public.
Many drew comparisons to the Novak Djokovic situation after the unvaccinated World No.1 was deported from the country after having his visa cancelled.
Shocking that Rublev & the Australian authorities were risking the lives of all the others on that flight. What airline allows you to travel while covid positive? Pretty unbelievable coming from a country so fearful of covid, really shows the Djokovic decision was 100% political.
— Paul James (@Paul_H_James) January 20, 2022
All standard airline policies is that you are NOT able to fly if you are Covid positive. Doesn't matter if you are vaccinated or not, doesn't matter if you fly commercial or private. Here is CDC and it's also a global policy. No exemptions. Rublev stated knew he was positive. pic.twitter.com/hlKKOuBVbH
— Pavvy G (@pavyg) January 20, 2022
The tournament should be cancelled out of an abundance of caution. Don't really see how they would refute charges of extreme hypocrisy otherwise.... anybody? Hello journalists?????
— Vittorio P (@vittorio3002) January 20, 2022
This is HUGE, so he knew he was positive before his flight but still boarded it anyway, potentially risking 100s of lives. Not to mention the border control knew this but allowed him in anyway. If people can't see this is political now, I can't help them
— Ross (@rgourley123) January 20, 2022
Oh wonderful. Hope this helps @DjokerNole in winning compensation
— Caz #KBF (@covidanarchy) January 20, 2022
So just because Rublev was vaccinated he could've entered Australia even through he was positive on entry, and Novak just because he is unvaccanited and tested negative was deported because he is a threat?
All of this doesn't make sense at all. You can now see the shame. pic.twitter.com/Y6TBpsLncH
— #WeStandWithNovak (@Slavica_NoleFam) January 20, 2022
Is this for real???
- Rublev - I entered Australia as positive...they don't test me anymore https://t.co/XUT3Jd8FBi
— Saša Stošić 🎾🏀🏁🎶 (@Sleepwalker64) January 20, 2022
However many others pointed out that Rublev wasn't a risk because he is vaccinated and quarantined upon arrival.
The Australian Open is Rublev's first tournament of the year after he was forced to withdraw from the ATP Cup in Sydney after testing positive to Covid-19 in Dubai in December.
Zverev says 'quite a few' players would have Covid
On Wednesday, Alexander Zverev suggested more players at the Australian Open may have Covid-19 but they may have gone undetected because they aren't being tested.
"I think quite a few players had it when they arrived. Quite a few players, I think, have it now," the German No.3 seed said.
"We're not getting tested, so I think if we would get tested there would be probably more positives than there are now, in a way."
Frenchman Ugo Humbert revealed earlier on Wednesday he'd tested positive for Covid, a day after his first round defeat by compatriot Richard Gasquet.
Humbert is now isolating for a week in Melbourne.
"We are allowed to go outside to eat, allowed to do whatever we want, so I think it's natural that more people get Covid," Zverev said.
"I understand that there is a lot of cases in Melbourne, in Australia all around. So I don't do much outside, I haven't been to any restaurants yet, I haven't been out.
"I haven't been anywhere but the hotel room and the courts, so I'm kind of doing a bubble for myself, simply because I don't want to take any risks and I want to give myself the best chance possible to do well here."
Australian player Bernard Tomic had earlier bemoaned the lack of testing being done before he also returned a positive result following a loss in qualifying.
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