It’s a mad, mad, mad sports world, to say the least! Tennis great Novak Djokovic can’t even enter the United States because he is not vaccinated, but a cyclist from Luxembourg who tested positive for COVID has won a stage of the Tour de France.
Fresh off his latest Wimbledon title, won Sunday, Djokovic has returned to the No. 1 spot in the world rankings and would be among the favorites for the U.S. Open beginning in August. However, that won’t happen because of the American government’s ridiculous vaccination policy. Djokovic was also prevented from playing in the Australian Open earlier in the year.
“I would love to go to States,” Djokovic said recently. “But as of today, that’s not possible. There is not much I can do anymore. I mean, it’s really up to the U.S. government to make a decision whether or not they allow unvaccinated people to go into the country.”
The U.S. cannot be serious, retired tennis pro John McEnroe insisted. “These politicians are getting in the way too much,” he said of over-the-top restrictions on unvaccinated athletes like Djokovic. “They did it in Australia. Let’s let the guy come in and play in the U.S. I mean, come on. This is ridiculous.”
While some pro sports remain stuck on stupid, pro cycling isn’t one of them. Cyclist Bob Jungels, of Luxembourg, tested positive for COVID 13 days ago. A panel of doctors cleared him for competition in the Tour de France, and he won Stage 9 Sunday.
“I had a test on the Thursday morning,” Jungels told Reuters. “But with the result you could see that I could start the race on Friday. It was very very close I believe. Luckily I made it.”
Writing for Outkick blog, Mark Harris said: “Talk about a novel concept, athletes still being able to compete after a positive test the day prior. Maybe the Tour de France doctors have different technology than every other sport around the world and are the only ones that can determine the severity of viral loads.”
Unlike U.S. sports that freak out over the mere mention of the words “COVID” and “unvaccinated” in connection with an athlete’s name, Jungels was allowed to race because of a test result showing his Cycle Threshold score was low and he wasn’t considered contagious.
Apparently, the cycling world is so sane that Velo News coverage of Stage 9 did not even mention that Jungels has COVID. Compare that to NBC Pro Football Talk, which relentlessly attacked football players like Aaron Rodgers for refusing vaccination.
Jungels rode 60 kilometers alone in the lead to win the 193K stage through mountainous terrain in Switzerland and France.
It’s a shame that tennis is too stubborn to use the Cycle Threshold to scientifically determine whether or not Djokovic is healthy enough to compete in the U.S. Open. Someone who just endured the long Wimbledon tournament and emerge on top seems to indicate a high level of health and a low level of risk to others. That’s too much commonsense to expect from the control freaks making COVID-related decisions in the U.S.