Italian Health Undersecretary Andrea Costa is against Novak Djokovic being allowed to compete at the Rome Masters while unvaccinated. Italy's cabinet undersecretary for sports Valentia vezzali gave the green light to Djokovic to play in Rome this year.
"I am not convinced by the reasons with which Undersecretary Vezzali said that Djokovic will be able to participate in the Rome [event], there are rules that must be respected as long as they exist," Costa said on the 24 Mattino program on Radio 24, as quoted on Sportskeeda.
"I believe that we must all be equal in the face of rules, norms, and whoever has a large following, who can give us a hand in this work, all the more reasonably must set a good example. So I am against Djokovic's presence at the Rome [tournament]."
Djokovic sticking to his beliefs
Djokovic confirmed this week that he is still unvaccinated and revealed he is willing to skip tournaments that require players to be vaccinated.
“I stand for choice and the autonomy of every individual, that every person has the right to decide in the matter of their health. I don’t like being labelled and put in the same category with certain initiatives or movements, I never said I support any of those.
I have always tried to respect everybody’s choices, I hope that people can respect mine as well," Djokovic told RTS. Djokovic said he doesn't know how would his body react to the COVID-19 vaccine and that's the reason why he doesn't want to take the vaccine.
“As an elite athlete, I want to triple-check everything that enters my body. If something changes for 0.5% in my body, I feel it. I am just cautious before making any decisions, I am taking my time and keeping my mind open. I will live with the consequences," Djokovic noted.