Tennis player Alex De Minaur denies paying for fake COVID vaccine certificate

BARCELONA, Spain — Australian tennis player Alex de Minaur has denied wrongdoing after being linked to a Spanish police investigation of people suspected of paying for false COVID-19 vaccination certificates.

Spanish media reported that De Minaur is among 2,200 people that the National Police say are under investigation for having paid a criminal ring for forged certificates.

« I want to make it 100% clear that I received my second shot, that I have a completely valid, accurate and true vaccination record, » the 23-year-old De Minaur, whose mother is Spanish, wrote Thursday evening on Twitter.

National Police would not confirm his name or any other individuals when asked by The Associated Press.

De Minaur said that he received his first vaccination in London last year before getting his second shot at Madrid’s La Paz Hospital.

The 32nd-ranked tennis player said in his statement that « the (La Paz) hospital is under investigation for providing falsified COVID certificates to some of its patients. » Police, however, said that the hospital is not under investigation, but rather the network behind the ring and its alleged clients.

On Tuesday, police said they had arrested four more individuals, in addition to the seven arrested in January, suspected of belonging to the ring. The ring allegedly recruited health workers to enter the names of its clients into Spain’s vaccination registry illicitly, allowing them to receive a vaccination certificate without having been administered shots. The ring found clients via messaging groups popular among anti-vaccine groups, according to police.

Spanish police said in January that they had discovered the leaders of the ring operating from France and had informed French police of their identities.

The investigation is ongoing.

De Minaur played in the Australian Open last month, losing in the fourth round to Jannik Sinner. Top-ranked Novak Djokovic was deported from Australia before the tournament after losing a bid to stay in the country despite not being vaccinated against COVID-19.


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