Australian Open officials react to Player-only vaccinations dispute

This article is over 1 year old

Damien Hill tells players competing in Melbourne, as well as British and Irish Open, they should take recommended anti-viral drug

The Australian Open’s new head referee has weighed in on the topic of player vaccinations.

Damien Hill, who was appointed to the role following the departure of new acting head Jon Leconte, will lead up the Australian Open from next month.

Defending Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic raised eyebrows after not opting to take the recommended anti-viral drug Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) for the Queens Open in London, which runs concurrently with the Australian Open.

Top ranked Australian Nick Kyrgios was also controversially hit with a $5,000 fine for failing to take the vaccination, which is recommended for players who live in Europe, where Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) is endemic.

At the time Hill said the Italian Open was a particularly bad time for the mea culpa for he “didn’t learn anything”.

But in a statement on Monday Hill said: “My understanding is that all players competing in the Australian Open 2017 will be taken for a previously prescribed vaccine. This vaccine is not required to compete in the tournament.

“My discussions with the Australian Open medical staff and with player group representatives earlier this year confirmed this information.”

Hill also said he is keen for the Australian Open’s medical team to support the player’s union, the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP), in providing daily briefings to players on the medical conditions that are currently affecting them.

He added: “I understand that some players have revealed details of injuries and illness that they have suffered at tournaments in recent months, especially during the tournament at Indian Wells. This information should be provided in an unclassified and open format.

“This information has unfortunately been entered into some ATP media disclosure reports, so the best way to achieve this would be to contact ATP medical staff to discuss this issue in detail with players and their representatives.”

The Australian Open runs from 15-28 January 2018, while the British and Irish Open runs from 8-19 July.

Leave a Comment