Report: Elena Delle Donne of Washington Mystics, denial of medical withdrawal request


Washington Mystics star Elena Delle Donne said her request to withdraw from the WNBA 2020 season for medical reasons had been rejected by the league’s panel of doctors.In a statement released to ESPN on Monday, the reigning MVP WNBA says it is a decision that goes against the advice it received from its own doctor. Delle Donne has been battling chronic Lyme disease since 2008.

“The independent panel of doctors the league has appointed to review high risk cases has indicated that I am not high risk and should be allowed to play in the bubble,” said Delle Donne. “I love my team, and we had an amazing season last year, and I want to play! But the question is whether the WNBA bubble is safe for me. My personal physician who has treated me for Lyme disease for years has advised me that I am at high risk of contracting and having complications from COVID-19. ”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Lyme disease is not on the list of underlying conditions that could put a person at increased risk for serious illness due to COVID-19. The WNBA panel of physicians is considering CDC guidelines for the assessment of high-risk cases.

The panel of doctors in the league says whether a player can be excused on medical grounds for the season, which is due to start in late July. Players who are considered “high risk” or have a medical reason to withdraw will receive their full salary. Players who do not reach this threshold according to the panel can still withdraw and skip the season, but they will not be paid.

Delle Donne has not yet traveled with teammates to the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, where the league has met for the season.

Spokesmen for the Mystics and the WNBA did not respond to requests for comment.


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