Dzumhur and coach taking legal action against French Open organisers over COVID-19 test

PARIS (Reuters) - Bosnian player Damir Dzumhur is taking legal action against the organisers of the French Open after he was barred from entering the qualification round as his coach Petar Popovic tested positive for COVID-19.

FILE PHOTO: Aug 31, 2020; Flushing Meadows, New York, USA; Damir Dzumhur (BIH) hits the ball against Novak Djokovic (SRB) on day one of the 2020 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Popovic said the test was a ‘false positive’ because he had already contracted the virus earlier this year and he was “full of antibodies”.

He said a new private test he underwent in Serbia returned negative, according to French sports daily L’Equipe.

Former world number 23 Dzumhur and Popovic said they were denied a second test by French Open organisers, the French tennis federation (FFT).

The FFT, however, said it was following a protocol that had been signed by the players.

“It’s a scandal and a huge frustration,” Popovic told L’Equipe on Tuesday.

“I’m sure we’re going to win in court. They’re going to pay a lot for this. It makes me crazy.”

Six players have already been denied a place in the qualification phase after positive coronavirus tests.

“We have drawn up our protocol in consultation with the government services. It was signed by the players and their team to obtain their accreditation. We value it. These are our rules,” the FFT said in a statement to Reuters.

The French Open will be held from Sept. 27-Oct. 11 after being moved from its usual late May-June slot.

The FFT plans to allow 5,000 spectators to attend each day following a recent spike in COVID-19 cases in France. It previously said the claycourt major would permit a maximum of 11,500 fans per day.

Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Christian Radnedge and Toby Davis