AMERICAN tennis player Tennys Sandgren was allowed to fly to the Australian Open despite testing positive for coronavirus just 48 hours earlier.
The world No50 managed to board a flight on Wednesday from Los Angeles to Melbourne, hailing Tennis Australia's CEO Craig Tiley a 'wizard' for making it happen.
Sandgren took to Twitter yesterday to confirm he had the deadly virus – just as he did in late November – and assumed that meant he would be forced to skip the Grand Slam event which is taking place despite protests from locals.
The 29-year-old, who reached the quarter-finals last year, tweeted: "Covid positive over thanksgiving. Covid positive on Monday. Yet pcr tests are the 'gold standard'? At least I get to keep my points."
But less than an hour later, he gave an update stating he may be able to travel and within 20 minutes he was on a plane ready to depart.
He added in a thread: "Update: maybe I can fly tmrw. Also got a breath hold for 3:31. Been a fun day.
"Wait hold on I think they are trying to get me on 15 min after the plane was supposed to depart.. my bags still aren’t checked lol.
"Wow I’m on the plane. Maybe I just held my breath too long.. Craig Tiley is a wizard."
The news came days after it was revealed Sandgren's compatriot Sam Querrey fled Russia and entered the UK knowing he was carrying coronavirus.
And plenty on Twitter hit out at Sandgren for making the journey rather than self-isolating.
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But he hit back, adding: "A lot [of] couch virologists out there. My two tests were less than 8 weeks apart.
"I was sick in November, totally healthy now. There’s not a single documented case where I would be contagious at this point. Totally recovered!"
And the Australian Open's official Twitter account replied to Sandgren's initial thread by explaining why he was allowed to fly.
The tweets read: "Some people who have recovered from Covid-19 and who are non-infectious can continue to shed the virus for several months.
"Victorian Government public health experts assess each case based on additional detailed medical records to ensure they are not infectious before checking in to the charter flights.
"Players and their teams are tested every day from their arrival in Australia, a much stricter process than for anyone else in hotel quarantine."
Tennis Australia put on 15 chartered flights from a select few locations around the world to get the 1,200 players and support staff to Melbourne for the tournament, which could still be axed if there is a sharp rise in coronavirus cases.
The Australian Open was pushed back three weeks with the main draws starting on February 8.
Tennis players making their way to the country must quarantine for two weeks.
They are allowed to leave their hotel rooms for a maximum of five hours per day, two of which can be spent training on the court with a designated hitting partner.
British duo Andy Murray and Dan Evans have paired up but compatriot Kyle Edmund has withdrawn from the event due to an ongoing knee injury.
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