Alexander Zverev slams French Open officials over insulin injection debacle
Germany’s Alexander Zverev has expressed his frustration with French Open organisers over a clash regarding his need to administer insulin injections during matches.
Zverev was diagnosed with diabetes as a three-year-old and has so far managed his condition well.
However he does at times require an insulin injection during a match and at the French Open he has been beset by issues regarding getting his medicine.
“On the ATP Tour I do it on the court, here they don’t allow me to do it,” he told Eurosport.
“I’m not allowed to do it on the court and I have to run out every time.
“Then at the last match I was told that it counts as a toilet break. That’s when I said, ‘guys, I might have to walk off the court four or five times. Decide what you want me to do’.”
Zverev was put through a drawn out process of getting cleared to get his insulin during his match against Frances Tiafoe.
“I then gave myself an injection and he panicked and said I had to call a doctor if I gave myself anything.”
Zverev railed against the lack of clarity and procedure and the way players with medical issues are treated by officials.
“During the second round, there was a discussion so I went out to inject the insulin,” he said. “Then a supervisor entered the room who did not know about this and he panicked and said ‘no, no you can’t do that. A doctor needs to come to inject it.’
“I told him that this is wrong because a normal doctor can’t help me if he is not specialised and does not have the right data about how much I have to inject.
“I told them ‘look, I have had diabetes since I was three years old. I know exactly what to do.’ But he just replied ‘no, a doctor has to do it.’ So this was another discussion.
“Today I finally told them ‘please tell me what I need to do – and then it’s okay If I need to do it outside I’m happy to do it there it just takes five seconds. Just let me do it, better on court’.
“But they said it looks weird when I do this on court. But this is not a clever take because if I don’t do it, my life will be in danger. But they said it looks weird.
“I said ‘how does it look like? That I dope myself?’
“This discussion makes no sense.”
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