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An open letter to the organisers of the Roland Garros tournament

We recently sent an open letter to the organisers of the Roland Garros Tennis Tournament. The letter expresses our strong concerns about the treatment of Alex Zverev, a professional tennis player and an individual living with type 1 diabetes.
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Mary-Liz McGrath 7 June 2023

Legs and racquet of tennis player seen behind a net

Here at JDRF UK, we are dedicated to supporting and advocating for everyone living with type 1 diabetes. We want to create a world where type 1 diabetes no longer poses a barrier to participation in all aspects of life, including sports.

We recently sent an open letter to the organisers of the Roland Garros Tennis Tournament. The letter expresses our strong concerns about the treatment of Alex Zverev, a professional tennis player and an individual living with type 1 diabetes.

We thought you might want to see it.

The letter in full

To whom it may concern

I am writing on behalf of JDRF UK, the leading worldwide charity dedicated to type 1 diabetes. We would like to express our strong concern regarding the recent treatment of Alex Zverev during the Roland Garros Tennis Tournament.

Type 1 diabetes is a chronic autoimmune condition that requires people to carefully manage their blood glucose levels through various means, including insulin injection. People living with type 1 diabetes, like Mr. Zverev, face unique challenges in maintaining their health while participating in competitive sports. We firmly believe that everyone should have the opportunity to participate fully and safely in their chosen activities, regardless of their health condition.

It has come to our attention that there were reports suggesting a lack of understanding and support for Mr. Zverev’s needs during his matches at the Roland Garros tournament. Specifically, we have seen a news report indicating that there may have been instances where Mr. Zverev was prevented from administering insulin on the court, which is crucial for his diabetes management.

We would like to emphasise that insulin administration is an essential aspect of type 1 diabetes management, and it should be treated with the same respect and understanding as any other medical intervention. It is critical that athletes with diabetes, like Mr. Zverev, are given the necessary accommodations and support to effectively manage their condition while competing. This includes the ability to administer insulin when required, as recommended by their healthcare professionals.

We kindly request that you thoroughly review the policies and procedures regarding the treatment of athletes with diabetes at future tournaments. It is imperative to ensure that adequate measures are in place to protect the rights and well-being of athletes living with type 1 diabetes, such as allowing them to administer insulin as needed.

We believe that raising awareness and promoting understanding about type 1 diabetes is crucial to combat misconceptions and ensure a more inclusive environment for people with diabetes in sports and other activities.

We sincerely hope that you will take our concerns into consideration and work towards improving the support system for athletes with type 1 diabetes, including Mr. Alex Zverev. By doing so, we can pave the way for a more inclusive and empowering environment in the world of sports.

Thank you for your attention to this matter. We look forward to your response and the opportunity to collaborate for positive change.

Yours sincerely,

Hilary Nathan

Director of Policy and Communications

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