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Alex de Minaur responds to reports he's being 'investigated' in fake Covid passport plot

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Australian tennis star Alex de Minaur has flatly denied reports that he has been named as an alleged client of an illegal fraud ring in Spain which supplies high-profile people with fake Covid passports. The situation is being investigated by police, with de Minaur one of several famous faces suspected of having had dealings with the Covid passport plot.

The National Police in Madrid are working on a project named Operation Jenner, aimed at uncovering plots to illicitly produce fake Covid passes.

Those passes would be bought by unvaccinated people who would use them to bypass Covid jab rules.

Spanish police have said that the leaders of the group are based in France, and that 11 people in total have been arrested and accused of “forgery and the use of forged documents”.

An investigation has uncovered that 600 more people who are accused of fraudulently registering as having been vaccinated.

That brings the total number of people being investigated to 2,200, according to AFP, all of whom could have used a network on social media platform Telegram to make contact with the fraudsters.

Among those accused are a number of well-known people in Spain, such as actors, businesspeople and sports stars including boxers, bodybuilders and a professional footballer.

Not all have been named, but one whose identity has been made public is tennis star de Minaur, who turned 23 on Thursday.

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“The Australian tennis player Alex de Minaur, of a Spanish mother and a Uruguayan father, is one of the last investigated as an alleged client of the false Covid passport plot,” Spanish outlet Telemadrid said in a report.

“The tennis player joins the list of top-level athletes, businessmen, musicians and actors who, supposedly, could have made use of the network that provided false Covid passports and PCR.”

De Minaur has denied the claims, in a short statement released on social media.

“I wanted to write a quick message here to avoid any misunderstanding regarding a report that is in the Spanish media about my vaccination certificate,” he wrote.

“I received my first dose of the vaccine in London last summer, and the second one at the Hospital La Paz in Madrid.

“News came out today that the hospital is under investigation for providing falsified Covid certificates to some of its patients.

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“I want to make it 100% clear that I received my second shot, that I have a completely valid, accurate and true vaccination record. Everyone around my, including my family, is fully vaccinated.

“I am not ‘under investigation’ in any way as is being suggested and my name is connected to this story simply because I was a patient at the hospital (as many thousands of others were).”

De Minaur represents Australia when on the court, but otherwise lives in Spain, the homeland of his mother.

Ranked 32nd in the world, he is the highest Australian male player on the ATP rankings and has won six tour titles in total across singles and doubles competitions.

He appeared at the Australian Open last month, where players were required to either be vaccinated or have a valid medical exemption to travel Down Under for the tournament.

World number one Novak Djokovic was unable to compete for that reason, as he was eventually sent home after his long-running visa battle.

De Minaur reached the fourth round of the men’s singles before being knocked out by Italy’s Jannik Sinner.

Any player found to have purchased a fraudulent vaccination record would likely face a severe penalty from the ATP.

A new rule brought in last year states that players who submit a fake Covid passport could face a fine of up to £74,000 and suspension from tour events for up to three years.



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That decision failed to pay off, however, with the Red Devils sacking Moyes after just 10 months in charge.

After the current West Ham boss came Van Gaal, who arrived with big things expected due to his past success at the likes of Barcelona and Ajax.

Giggs was hoping to get the Red Devils job himself, which was why he stayed, but both ended up leaving nearly six years ago.

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