Alex de Minaur has categorically denied being investigated as part of a wider police investigation into an illegal fraud ring in Spain which sold fake Covid-19 passports.
Australia’s No.1 male tennis player appears on a list of suspected buyers but says he was connected ‘simply because I was a patient’ at the same Madrid hospital that Spanish police are investigating.
Players had to be vaccinated or have a valid medical exemption to play 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 stay in Australia and compete in the Melbourne Grand Slam.
La Paz University Hospital, where de Minaur said he received his second dose of vaccination, is under intense scrutiny as part of Operation Jenner, which aims to uncover the organization behind the Covid plot .
The 23-year-old is one of many high-profile people, including actors, musicians, businessmen and athletes, linked to the situation – but not all have been named after him.
The police arrested 11 people accused of “forgery and use of forgery”, according to AFP, among the 2,200 who potentially illegally obtained Covid passes.
The ongoing investigation revealed that the group selling the fraudulent Covid results and passports was based in France.
The network reportedly offered several options to customers, including fake PCR results and Covid passes, as well as forged documents stating they were fully vaccinated at varying cost.
Spanish media organization Telemadrid first named de Minaur, who moved to Alicante when not competing in tournaments.
de Minaur refuted the allegations in a statement posted on social media.
“I wanted to write a quick message here to avoid any misunderstanding regarding a report in the Spanish media regarding my vaccination certificate,” de Minaur said.
“I received my first dose of the vaccine in London last summer, and the second at La Paz Hospital in Madrid.
“News came out today that the hospital is being investigated for providing falsified Covid certificates to some of its patients.
“I want it to be 100% clear that I received my second injection, that I have a completely valid, accurate and truthful vaccination record. Everyone around me, including my family, is fully vaccinated.
“I am in no way ‘under investigation’ as suggested and my name is linked to this story simply because I was a patient in the hospital (as thousands of others were).”
de Minaur contracted the virus in the middle of last year and subsequently withdrew from the Tokyo Olympics.