The ATP Tour has decided to take stringent measures to ensure that players participating in tournaments across the world are vaccinated and following the requirements set by organizers. In a recent board meeting, the ATP has proposed heavily penalizing players who are found to have falsified their COVID-19 vaccination records.
The rule, if approved, would be applicable to all players under the jurisdiction of the ATP Tour.
"Based on the proposal, if a player is found falsifying their vaccination record, they will be "subject to a fine of $100,000 and/or suspension from play in ATP Tour or ATP Challenger Tour tournaments for a period of up to three (3) years," the ATP's proposal read.
Why should the ATP Tour take such stringent measures?
With tournaments across the world resuming, players have started traveling to multiple countries once again. In a sport like tennis where players are not bound to national or league teams, it becomes difficult for their actions to be regulated. In that context, the ATP Tour's proposal is welcome.
Recently, the Australian government stirred the pot by announcing that vaccinations would be mandatory for athletes wishing to compete at the Australian Open in Melbourne.
Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley also made it clear that all players must be vaccinated in order to participate, stating that this had been conveyed to World No. 1 Novak Djokovic.
"(Novak Djokovic) has said that he views this (vaccination) as a private matter for him. We would love to see Novak here, he knows that he'll have to be vaccinated to play here," Craig Tiley said in a recent press conference.
With COVID-19 cases surging in Europe again, it is understandable why the ATP Tour has decided to take a stand on vaccinations. Innsbruck, one of the locations hosting the ongoing Davis Cup Finals, is currently under lockdown, prohibiting spectators from entering stadiums.
In a recent statement to the New York Times, the ATP Tour explained why it was important for players to be vaccinated, highlighting the need to ensure the well-being of the larger community.
“While we respect everyone’s right to free choice, we also believe that each player has a role to play in helping the wider group achieve a safe level of immunity,” the ATP said in a statement. “Doing so will allow us to ease restrictions on-site for the benefit of everyone on Tour.”
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