Alex de Minaur has taken to social media to refute claims he is under investigation as part of a wider probe into fake Covid-19 passports
Alex de Minaur has emphatically denied he is under investigation as part of a wider police probe into an illegal fraud ring in Spain that sold fake Covid-19 passports.
Australia’s No.1 men’s tennis player appears on a list of alleged buyers but said he was connected “simply because I was a patient” at the same Madrid hospital Spanish police are investigating.
Players had to be vaccinated, or have a valid medical exemption, to compete at the Australian Open in January, with the ATP confirming this week that only one male player in the top 100 was unvaccinated.
That player is world No.1 Novak Djokovic, who lost a legal battle to remain in Australia and compete in the Melbourne grand slam event.
La Paz University Hospital, where de Minaur said he received his second vaccination dose, is under scrutiny as part of Operation Jenner, which aims to uncover the organisation behind the Covid plot.
The 23-year-old is one of many high-profile people, including actors, musicians, business people and athletes, being linked to the situation – but not all have been named as he was.
Police have arrested 11 people accused of “forgery and the use of forged documents”, according to AFP, among the 2200 who potentially obtained Covid passes unlawfully.
The ongoing investigation found that the group selling the fraudulent Covid results and passports were based in France.
The network allegedly offered several options to clients, including fake PCR results and Covid passes, as well as falsified documents declaring they were fully vaccinated at varying cost.
Spanish media organisation Telemadrid first named de Minaur, who bases himself in Alicante when he is not competing in tournaments.
de Minaur refuted the claims in a statement released on social media.
“I wanted to write a quick message here to avoid any misunderstanding regarding a report that is in the Spanish media about my vaccination certificate,” de Minaur said.
“I received my first dose of the vaccine in London last summer, and the second one at the Hospital La Paz in Madrid.
“News came out today that the hospital is under investigation for providing falsified Covid certificates to some of its patients.
“I want to make it 100% clear that I received my second shot, that I have a completely valid, accurate and true vaccination record. Everyone around my, including my family, is fully vaccinated.
“I am not ‘under investigation’ in any way as is being suggested and my name is connected to this story simply because I was a patient at the hospital (as many thousands of others were).”
de Minaur contracted the virus mid-last year and subsequently withdrew from the Tokyo Olympics.