Tennis: Tennis-Legal issues with WTA Tour vaccine mandate, says Azarenka


MELBOURNE (Reuters) – There are authorized issues with the WTA imposing a COVID-19 vaccine mandate on everybody competing on the ladies’s skilled circuit, former world primary and tour gamers’ council member Victoria Azarenka stated on Wednesday.

Mandates have been proposed in some quarters after the problem of vaccinations dominated the tennis headlines for per week earlier than Novak Djokovic was deported from Australia on Sunday night.

Azarenka stated she believed getting vaccinated was the socially accountable factor to do, and that the WTA was proper to encourage it, however there have been issues with a mandate, nonetheless helpful it is likely to be.

“I consider in science. I consider in getting vaccinated. That’s what I did for myself,” she informed reporters after reaching the third spherical of the Australian Open with a 6-1 6-2 victory over Jil Teichmann.

“As an entity, as an affiliation of WTA, that’s travelling globally, we nonetheless should respect international locations, completely different international locations, completely different mandates, completely different legalities of the nation.

“Some international locations won’t permit mandates. I feel to impose one thing legally on the WTA Tour generally is a problem. I feel that is one thing that we face.”

Djokovic and a handful of different unvaccinated gamers and officers arrived in Australia this month and final holding medical exemptions that have been supposed to permit them to enter the nation with out being vaccinated.

Azarenka stated she thought the entire affair may have been prevented by having a lot clearer guidelines in place.

“I do not consider there was anyone who appeared good in any case. That grew to become a little bit of a circus,” she stated.

“I feel there must be a very exhausting look on this example shifting ahead. I feel as quickly as there’s a gray space within the guidelines, that offers a bit an excessive amount of questions, and conditions like this occur.

“On sure issues I feel a black-and-white strategy is important.”

The WTA haven’t replied to requests for remark about vaccine mandates.

Azarenka stated discussions have been persevering with about find out how to exchange the Chinese occasions on the WTA calendar after the tour suspended tournaments within the nation due to issues over the security of former doubles primary Peng Shuai.

“The course of is clearly not public in the mean time as a result of there isn’t a certainties or any choices or substitutions which might be in play,” she stated.

“As an affiliation, ladies’s affiliation, I’m proud that we’re supporting our gamers. I feel that sort of ought to go with out saying. The scenario is basically unlucky. We all hope for the perfect.”

(Writing by Nick Mulvenney in Sydney, Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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