Controversy erupts after tennis star let into Australia with Covid

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Andrey Rublev, pictured here in action against Ricardas Berankis at the Australian Open.
Andrey Rublev in action against Ricardas Berankis at the Australian Open. (Photo by Andy Cheung/Getty Images)

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."

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.

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.

Ugo Humbert, pictured here in action against Richard Gasquet at the Australian Open.
Ugo Humbert in action against Richard Gasquet at the Australian Open. (Photo by MARTIN KEEP/AFP via Getty Images)

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.

with AAP

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