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Australian Open 2021: Tennis Australia refutes claim that two players tested positive for COVID-19

A statement from Victorian health officials concerning two players preparing for the Australian Open testing positive for Covid-19 has been debunked by Tennis Australia.

Victoria officials released a statement that claims a female in her 20s and two males in their 30s had also tested positive, with two players amongst the group despite 72 players already in quarantine due to positive tests on flights into Melbourne.

Brett Sutton, Victoria chief health officer said all three were in hotel quarantine.

Tennis Australia chief executive Craig Tiley was asked during a press conference if any of the positive cases included players and he said “no”.

“Of those six [cases in the Australian Open contingent], plus one – which was the flight attendant – none of them are players. (It’s) player entourages.

“There have been some players on the viral shedding list. Again, I’ll have to leave it to Quarantine Victoria to give those numbers. They’re not big numbers. It’s a few. As far as [players] testing positive and going to the medi-hotel – no, none.”

He claimed that people in hotel quarantine are moved to a medi-hotel if they test positive for Covid-19.

In his statement, Professor Sutton also rejected suggestions claiming that some players might have their strict quarantine periods shortened after some positive cases were recategorized as viral shedding.

“While two cases of viral shedding were confirmed yesterday, this does not change [the] broader assessment of the player group in hotel quarantine,” he said in a statement.

“As yet, none of the three affected flights have been cleared as a result of the two reclassified cases.”

Roberto Bautista Agut has also issued an apology after comparing being locked down in a hotel to spending time in prison.

The world No 13 said: “I want to apologise to everyone who has been offended by the video that was posted about me recently. It is a private conversation taken out of context that has unfortunately been released to the media without my knowledge or consent.”

The Australian Open is set to start on February 8, with warm-up events starting at the end of January.

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