Coric second player at Djokovic event to test positive for coronavirus

In this file photograph taken on January 8, 2020, Borna Coric of Croatia reacts during his men's singles match against Diego Schwartzman of Argentina at the ATP Cup tennis tournament in Sydney. (AFP)
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Updated 23 June 2020

Coric second player at Djokovic event to test positive for coronavirus

  • One of Djokovic’s coaches and another member of Dimitrov’s entourage have also reportedly tested positive for the virus, according to Croatia’s N1 television channel

PARIS: Borna Coric announced on Monday he has become the second player to test positive for coronavirus after taking part in an exhibition tournament in Croatia featuring world No. 1 Novak Djokovic.

“Hi everyone, I wanted to inform you all that I tested positive for COVID-19,” the Croatian, ranked 33rd in the world, posted on Twitter.

It follows Sunday’s announcement by Grigor Dimitrov that he had also tested positive after pulling out of the exhibition event, which is one of the biggest since the tennis season was halted because of the pandemic.

Coric tweeted: “I want to make sure anyone who has been in contact with me during the last few days gets tested!

“I am really sorry for any harm I might have caused! I’m feeling well and don’t have any simptoms (sic). Please stay safe and healthy! Lots of love to all!”

One of Djokovic’s coaches and another member of Dimitrov’s entourage have also reportedly tested positive for the virus, according to Croatia’s N1 television channel.

Coric had beaten Bulgaria’s Dimitrov in the second leg of the Adria Tour in Zadar on Croatia’s Adriatic coast on Saturday.

Dimitrov withdrew from the Balkans tournament following that match, complaining of feeling unwell.

Sunday’s final between Djokovic and Russia’s Andrey Rublev was immediately canceled as a precaution.

Australian star Nick Kyrgios responded to Coric’s tweet by describing the staging of the tournament as “boneheaded.” 

“Boneheaded decision to go ahead with the ‘exhibition,’” Kyrgios wrote on social media.

“Speedy recovery fellas, but that’s what happens when you disregard all protocols. This IS NOT A JOKE.”

Also playing in the tournament were world No. 3  Dominic Thiem, former US Open winner Marin Cilic, seventh-ranked Alexander Zverev and Filip Krajinovic.

Responding to Dimitrov’s positive test on Sunday, Djokovic’s brother Djordje, the tournament director, told Sportske Novosti: “Novak? He took this news very hard. We undertook all the measures prescribed by the governments of Serbia and Croatia.”

The news of Coric’s positive test emerged as Serbian football league champions Red Star Belgrade reported that 5  of their players had gone down with coronavirus just 12 days after their derby clash with Partizan Belgrade.

The game was watched by 16,000 fans, the largest sporting gathering seen in Europe since the continent went into lockdown in March.

The Adria Tour had been organized to fill the gap in the virus-hit tennis calendar which has been on ice since mid-March and was played out to a daily crowd of 4,000 fans at Djokovic’s tennis center on the banks of the Danube in Belgrade last week.

Dimitrov, Djokovic and Thiem, as well as the other players, were then seen partying at a packed Belgrade night spot.

Thiem has since travelled to the south of France to play in another exhibition tournament, the Ultimate Tennis Showdown in Nice.


Luis Suarez suspected of cheating on Italian exam

Updated 22 September 2020

Luis Suarez suspected of cheating on Italian exam

  • The Italian exam was a first step required in order to receive a passport ahead of a possible transfer to Juventus
  • Juventus coach Andrea Pirlo said a proposed deal for Suarez was unlikely to go ahead because of delays in the Uruguayan’s bid to get an Italian passport

ROME: Barcelona forward Luis Suarez is suspected of cheating to pass his Italian language test with the help of his teachers, the Perugia prosecutor’s department in charge of the investigation said on Tuesday.
The Italian exam was a first step required in order to receive a passport ahead of a possible transfer to Juventus.
“The investigation showed that the subjects discussed during the exam were agreed beforehand with the candidate and that the grade was awarded to him even before the test,” the prosecutor’s department said in a statement.
Local prosecutor Raffaele Cantone, a former head of Italy’s National Anti-Corruption Authority, had been carrying out an investigation since February into University for Foreigners officials over various irregularities. Suspicions over Suarez were aroused by an overheard conversation.
“But what do you think, that we’re going to fail him? Today I have the last lesson (with Suarez) and I have to prepare it because he barely speaks a word” of Italian, Stefania Spina, one of the people targeted by the investigation, is claimed to have said according to prosecution documents cited by Italian media.
Asked by a colleague what level Suarez “should pass” in Italian, Spina reportedly replied: “He should not, he must, he will pass, because with a salary of 10 million (euros) per season, you can’t make him fail” his exam, “even if he doesn’t know how to conjugate verbs and speak in the infinitive.”
Juventus coach Andrea Pirlo said last week a proposed deal for Suarez was unlikely to go ahead because of delays in the Uruguayan’s bid to get an Italian passport.
The Italian champions cannot recruit Suarez otherwise because they have already reached their quota for non-EU players.