Italian tennis star Camila Giorgi and her father have hit back at accusations she sought out a fake vaccination certificate in order to participate in last year’s Australian Open among other tournaments.
The explosive allegations broke a week before the start of the year’s first major after Giorgi’s personal doctor Daniela Grillone, who was charged by Italian police in Vicenza last February for vaccinating hundreds of people with fake serums, accused the world No. 66 of seeking a fake Covid-19 vaccination certificate from her.
Italian newspaper la Repubblica broke the news that Giorgi was being investigated by Italian police for using a fake certificate and now Dr Grillones claimed in an interview with a local newspaper that the 31-year-old was never given the vaccine.
Giorgi, who is also a lingerie model, reached the third round of the Australian Open, losing to World No. 1 and eventual champion Ash Barty.
However, following the 31-year-old’s 6-0 6-1 win over Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova on Tursday, Giorgi denied the allegations and said she had been vaccinated.
After a question from the moderator about the match, Giorgi was asked about her the vaccination drama.
“When they did talk before to know the situation,” Giorgi said.
“Of course, the doctor has been investigate, and she had troubles in this year with the law a few times.
“So I did — I just did all my vaccination in different places. So the trouble is hers. Not me. So with that, I’m very calm. Of course, if not, I couldn’t come here and play this tennis, I think.”
Asked if she relied on documentation from Grillione to enter Australia last year, Giorgi said: “I’m not in dangerous. Not at all. She’s in trouble, so I don’t need to …
“I did everything what they ask, the Australia government. Each year we are fine with that.”
Fearing a miscommunication with the language barrier, the journalist asked again before others rephrased the question, asking if she had been vaccinated by Grillione.
“Once. The other vaccination, I did it in different kind of places, so it’s what I’m trying to explain,” she said.
Giorgi continued, adding her name was among 300 the doctor had allegedly treated.
When pressed on the direct accusation she had sought out a false vaccination certificate, Giorgi said: “It’s what I’m saying, I did just once vaccination with her, and the other ones I did with other doctors. So I’m fine, and she’s in trouble with the law in Italy. So after it’s she’s going to see.
“No, not at all, because I did vaccination with different places, and this need to be very clear because it’s a big thing they say all around, and it’s not my problem. It’s her problem.”
The press conference came to an end after the questioning about the vaccine certificate with no questions about the match and Giorgi’s father Sergio was furious.
He reportedly told reporters who asked for comment after the press conference he “did not like your questions”.
Hundreds of doctors, nurses, police and entrepreneurs have been caught up in the scandal, including singer Madame, but one name the doctor remembers above all others is the tennis player who was an existing patient.
“The Giorgi family has been under treatment with me for a long time,” Grillone told Italian daily Corriere del Veneto.
“Camila Giorgi suffered from the so-called tennis elbow. Shortly before the beginning of summer, she had come asking for the possibility of obtaining false attestations of all the mandatory vaccines, as well as the Covid vaccine.
“I can confirm with absolute certainty that none of the vaccines against the Giorgi family have actually been administered. I have not received any payment in that case.
“I am deeply upset and sorry for my action.”