By Arré Bench Jun. 23, 2020
Amid the pandemic, Novak Djokovic organised the Adria Tour, which followed no social-distancing norms. And after players were infected with the coronavirus, the tennis star refused to get tested immediately. That’s a double fault.
Novak Djokovic might be the top-ranked tennis player in the world, but is proving to be a very bad ambassador for the sport after a debacle of a charity tour he organised became a Covid-19 hotspot. Djokovic’s Adria Tour, which was being held in Serbia and Croatia, had to be called off after four tennis players and two coaches tested positive for the new coronavirus. At a time when sport authorities across the world are hesitant to resume playing before fans, the Adria Tour was held with no social distancing guidelines followed, and a cavalier attitude toward the safety of participants and spectators amid the pandemic.
Undefeated in 2020 before the pandemic shut down the tour, Novak Djokovic is hardly on a winning streak anymore. His no-distancing Adria Tour looks like folly at this stage. My latest with input from many in the game:https://t.co/WDnzRmQJaF pic.twitter.com/fTgkro3cCm
— Christopher Clarey (@christophclarey) June 23, 2020
Out of the four players who tested positive, two have gone public with their diagnosis. They are Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria, ranked 19 worldwide, and Borna Coric of Croatia, ranked 33. Reports have emerged that despite the detection of multiple cases of Covid-19 at the tour, Djokovic refused to be tested right away, and left Zadar, Croatia, for his home in Belgrade, Serbia. He has reportedly taken a test now and is expected to announce the results today.
— Eric Hubbs (@BarstoolHubbs) June 22, 2020
Djokovic’s dismissal of Covid-19 safety regulations was called into question even before the tournament. However, the World No 1 was nonchalant about concerns. “You can also criticise us and say this is maybe dangerous. But it’s not up to me to make the calls about what is right or wrong for health. We are doing what the Serbian government is telling us,” he said at the opening ceremony of the Adria Tour.
Literally no safety measures – there are crowds, no distance between people, no masks or gloves pic.twitter.com/4vO0jo4bDP
— Annanya (@annanyajohari) June 21, 2020
This seems in-character for Novak Djokovic, who has been known to have an anti-vaccination stance. In May, Djokovic came in for criticism after giving nutritionist Chervin Jefarieh a platform on his Instagram profile to endorse a product that claims to stimulate brain cell growth. These sessions featured Djokovic and the nutritionist spouting off pseudoscientific theories, including one where they stated it was possible to change the molecular composition of food and water through thoughts and emotions.
Which mid-pandemic Djokovic health blunder was most egregious?
Pick one or rank them:
1) Anti-vaccine sentiments
2) Instagrams featuring charlatan
3) Saying water can be purified with positivity
4) Holding bacchanalian Adria Tour
5) Leaving Croatia w/o test post-Grigor news
— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) June 22, 2020
The Adria Tour will go down as an irresponsible and ill-timed event. Djokovic’s fellow players have also spoken out about the dangers of having held such an event.
🤦🏽♂️🤦🏽♂️🤦🏽♂️ Boneheaded decision to go ahead with the ‘exhibition’ speedy recovery fellas, but that’s what happens when you disregard all protocols. This IS NOT A JOKE. https://t.co/SUdxfijkbK
— Nicholas Kyrgios (@NickKyrgios) June 22, 2020
Andy Murray on Novak Djokovic’s Adria Tour debacle: ‘It is not a good look. When you are going through a time like this it’s important any of the top athletes around the world should be showing that we are taking this extremely seriously.’https://t.co/AedK8rqAuW
— George Bellshaw (@BellshawGeorge) June 22, 2020
— Telegraph Sport (@TelegraphSport) June 22, 2020
Novak Djokovic has accrued many nicknames throughout his career, like Nole and Djoker, but after this, he might have to add covidiot to the list.