Tennis ace Yulia Putintseva, who complained about her quarantine conditions in Melbourne after filming a mouse in her room again, was ordered by a local police chief not to feed the unwanted guest ahead of the Australian Open.
The 26-year-old is one of the 72 players who have to be locked up in the hotel for a strict 14-day quarantine.
She has fought against the organizers of the Australian Open for imposing Covid-19 requirements that even prohibit players from leaving their rooms.
In a number of social media posts, the world number 28 spoke about the ordeal of staying indoors for two weeks without the opportunity to go outside and exercise.
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One of her videos also had a bombshell effect after she complained about her living conditions and filmed a mouse walking around the room.
“I’ve been trying to change rooms for two hours,” she wrote. “And because of the quarantine situation, nobody came to help.”
Despite the player’s best efforts, her unfortunate hotel adventures did not end positively as she had another unexpected encounter with a mouse in her new room.
“Different room, same story: wanted to go to sleep, but noooope,” said Putintseva.
“Cool – now the receptionist has told me that the hotel is full and that they can’t help it. It’s a joke.”
She received widespread support online, with many calling the situation “unacceptable” and praising Putintseva for her confidence to speak about the unbearable quarantine conditions.
Victoria Police Minister Lisa Neville was not among those who showed sympathy for the Kazakh athlete, suggesting she must have fed the mouse.
“We had pests fighting the hotel this week and I think it may have been moused something,” Neville said on Wednesday.
“We’re doing everything we can to make sure these rooms don’t have mice … I would encourage them to minimize interaction with the mice, and we’ll continue to do pest control if we have to.”
On Tuesday, Putintseva published a protest from her hotel room saying that the players “need fresh air to breathe” and are annoyed by the strict quarantine rules put in place to prevent Covid cases among participants in the Australian Open.
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