(Reuters) – Former world number one Andy Murray has raised doubts about the Lawn Tennis Association’s (LTA) health protocols at its high-performance training facility after he tested positive for COVID-19 and had to miss the Australian Open.
The three-time Grand Slam winner was forced to pull out of the first major of 2021 in Melbourne after he was unable to find what he called a “workable quarantine” following a positive test on Jan. 14.
“I stuck to all of the protocols. I couldn’t pick it up anywhere else because I hadn’t left my house or National Tennis Centre (NTC) for 10 weeks, and then there were some positive cases there,” the 33-year-old told British media.
“When we went to the NTC in April, if there were six indoor courts, you could only practise on one, three and five. There wasn’t any testing, but the gym was closed and it was restricted access.
“Whereas after Christmas you have an indoor venue where they are using all six courts and tonnes of people in the gym.”
The LTA said it had consistently followed government guidance.
“It is impossible for LTA staff to police every part of the building continuously, ultimately individuals are responsible for their own behaviour and ensuring they follow the rules,” the governing body said in a statement.
Murray said his wife Kim and three children had also tested positive.
“My family are OK. I was pissed off that I missed the tournament and wasn’t able to go to Australia,” he added.
“But the more important point is that it’s not just about a tennis tournament when I am going back and giving the virus to all of my family and infecting them. I care about that.”
(Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)