Australian sports bosses embarrassed themselves on Thursday after their cricket chiefs pulled the plug on a tour to South Africa over coronavirus risks earlier this week.
They now face a Covid-19 nightmare of their own ahead of Monday’s scheduled start of the Australian Open, the first Grand Slam of the tennis calendar.
Six warm-up events were put on hold and hundreds of players and officials in isolation yesterday as a fresh case left organisers scrambling to ensure the Open starts on time.
Health officials insisted the risk to players and officials was “low” after a worker at one of the tournament’s designated quarantine hotels tested positive.
Thursday’s play at six tournaments at Melbourne Park was cancelled as a precaution.
Stefanos Tsitsipas and Stan Wawrinka were among those affected although the big names, including Serena Williams, Novak Djokovic and Rafa Nadal, spent their mandatory 14-day quarantine in Adelaide.
Victoria state Health Minister Martin Foley said the 520 people ordered to isolate and get tested were casual contacts, stressing “we are not as concerned about them”.
He says: “But out of an abundance of caution we want to ensure we leave no stone unturned in how we follow up and deal with anybody who may have had contact with this individual.”