With the internet abuzz with the Sam Querrey escape from Russia, the St Petersburg tournament organisers have released a statement clarifying the details of the case.
It was earlier revealed that the 33-year-old American player had tested positive for Covid-19 during the St Petersburg ATP event. His wife and eight-month-old son also tested positive for the novel virus.
But rather than going into quarantine, the family fled to an undisclosed location on a private chartered airplane without telling the tournament representatives.
“On October 11 Sam Querrey and his family members tested positive, which result was confirmed by an immediate repeat test on the same day,” the statement read.
“According to the ATP protocol and the rules of the Rospotrebnadzor, the Russian federal service for monitoring mass events, including sports competition, Sam Querrey was disqualified and isolated in his hotel room of the ‘Four Seasons’ hotel.”
In addition, the Rospotrebnadzor recommended that the tournament organisers make a medical report on Querrey and his family. The organisers arranged for a visit from a doctor and a paediatrician, but both the attempts to examine the Querrey family failed.
On the first visit, on October 12, Sam Querrey refused to open the door, saying his son was sleeping. A second attempt was made a day later, with prior agreement, but again no one opened the door.
The tournament organizing committee had also made arrangements to shift them to premium-class apartments so that the ‘family wouldn’t experience any inconvenience nor pose a threat of disease dissemination.’
“A repeat test for Sam Querrey was scheduled on Thursday, October 15,” the tournament statement added. “However, instead of acting in accordance with the ATP rules and tournament sanitary protocol, at 5.45 am on October 13, Sam Querrey along with his family left the hotel without informing the reception – as was filmed by the hotel security cameras.
“As Querrey told the ATP representative, he flew out to Russia on a private jet. The ATP representative passed on this information to the tournament management after the doctors made a repeat abortive attempt to examine the family.”
There are reports that the private chartered jet was arranged by one of his sponsors.
The organisers further stated: “The tournament organizing committee has done it all to ensure the safety of the players, the ATP representatives and all the services of the tournament. It is the power of the ATP to evaluate and assess the actions of the player Sam Querrey.”
The ATP has admitted that it is a ‘serious breach of protocol’ by the player and that they will investigate the matter.
Alexander Zverev, who is the top seed at this week’s tournament in Cologne, weighed in on the Sam Querrey escape from Russia.
‘I guess he will be in trouble with the ATP now,” said the German. “Was not really clever.”