Inconsistent diabetes rules
Zverev is annoyed: “Then I’m in mortal danger”
6/6/2023 9:57 am
Alexander Zverev is one of the best tennis players in the world – and has been diabetic since he was four years old. Both together pose challenges not only for the professional. Officials also have difficulties in dealing with the disease. And that upsets Zverev.
Alexander Zverev called for a uniform approach to his diabetes at the French Open. In normal tournaments on the ATP tour, the tennis Olympic champion puts the insulin syringe on the bench when changing sides, at the clay court classic in Paris he has to leave the court.
“Last time I was told that this counts as a toilet break. So I said: Guys, it’s possible that I’ll have to leave the field four or five times,” said the 26-year-old after qualifying for the quarter-finals with a 6-1 win. 6: 4, 6: 3 against Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov late Monday evening at Eurosport and continued at the press conference: “I only have two toilet breaks. It means that I am not allowed to do a certain thing that is necessary for my life .” He was told by those in charge that it looked like he was doing “something weird” if he injected himself on the pitch, as if he were doping. “Yes, you are not very, very smart. I’ve been diabetic since I was three and a half years old. If I don’t inject myself, my life is in danger,” emphasized Zverev.
At one point in the tournament, a referee was unaware of his illness and said he should call a doctor. “When he saw that I was giving myself an injection, he panicked and said: ‘What are you doing? What are you doing? You have to call a doctor if you want to give yourself something,’ reported Zverev. In this game, after the second set, there were again debates with the referee about this topic. “I said to the referee: Decide what you want from me, but don’t send me back and forth. There should just be a clear structure as to what I should do. So it’s a back and forth and nobody knows what I have things to do.”
In August 2022, Zverev made his long-standing diabetes public. Born in Hamburg, he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes as a child. Almost a year ago he also announced the founding of his foundation “Alexander Zverev Foundation – Aufschlag gegen Diabetes”. Diabetes is a metabolic disease, which means that the body can hardly or no longer produce any insulin. Type 1, as with Zverev, has not yet been cured, so those affected have to inject insulin for the rest of their lives.