UPDATE: Both men have been reinstated. Read more here.
Italian professional golfers Edoardo Molinari and Lorenzo Gagli were forced to withdraw from this week’s Oman Open on the European Tour and put in isolation by doctors to determine if either man has the coronavirus.
According to an Associated Press report citing Italian newspaper La Nazione, Gagli told the paper that a European Tour doctor approached him on Wednesday morning and told him to return to his hotel room. His roommate that week, Molinari, was moved to a separate room for isolation.
Gagli was administered a test that he said would take two days to receive results on, but he was told he would be in isolation in his room until at least next Wednesday.
“It’s an inexplicable decision,” Gagli said. “Only us two have been excluded from the tournament, but I arrived in Muscat last Sunday and over the last few days, I’ve worked out in the gym with dozens of other players. I ate with them and traveled by bus with them.
“If there was a risk of contagion, then they would have to isolate dozens of golfers and cancel the tournament.”
Per AP: “Italian golfers Lorenzo Gagli and Edoardo Molinari withdraw from the Oman Open amid reports they are being isolated to determine if they have the coronavirus.”
— Brentley Romine (@BrentleyGC) February 26, 2020
Gagli explained that the decision to keep he and Molinari isolated also impacted them financially as neither would be able to compete in next week’s Qatar Masters, causing the men “serious economic damage.”
A European Tour spokesman told the AP that Gagli and Molinari withdrew from the Oman Open on “medical grounds,” but couldn’t say anything further due to paitent confidentiality.
“I feel fine,” Gagli told La Nazione. “I just have a cold.”
Molinari, the younger brother of 2018 Open Champion Francesco, also reported feeling fine physically around midday on Thursday.
For everyone asking, I am absolutely fine. No symptoms at all, no fever, no cold, nothing wrong at all…just very bored and annoyed. Hopefully this nightmare will be over soon!
— Edoardo Molinari (@DodoMolinari) February 27, 2020
“For everyone asking, I am absolutely fine,” Molinari wrote on Twitter. “No symptoms at all, no fever, no cold, nothing wrong at all…just very bored and annoyed. Hopefully, this nightmare will be over soon!”
According to the AP, Italy has reported 447 cases of the coronavirus, the most of any country outside Asia. Twelve people infected with the virus have died in Italy since Friday, all of whom were elderly, had other health conditions, or both, civil protection chief Angelo Borelli said.