The Greek government said Monday it strongly disputes a claim by Davis Cup quarterfinalist Stefanos Tsitsipas that he should be exempt from vaccinations as an athlete because he is a “Greek youngster.”
“Greek athletes are not exempted from medical procedures,” government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos said on Greece’s Skai TV. “At the European Championships we took one team to the finals. In the last Davis Cup a Greek youngster, Stefanos Tsitsipas, won the first and the third sets of the matches. We have stated in the past that our athletes should not be exempted from having to submit to procedures.”
Tsitsipas told reporters at the Wimbledon warm-up tournament that he should be exempt from having to take the shots, citing the state of the Greek health system.
“I think for young players in Greece they need help, they need medical help. The quality of the medical care and even the facilities are not on par with the national level,” Tsitsipas said. “So when it comes to me and my team, it’s very clear for us. If I’m exempt from the rules and regulations we’ll take that easy way, but it won’t be the easy way because I’ll do whatever it takes.”
He added: “I come from Greece, I don’t come from Russia, or the United States, or any of these countries. I’m a Greek youngster.”