Delle Donne’s Opt-Out Request Is Denied


Elena Delle Donne, the W.N.B.A.’s reigning most valuable player, said she had been denied a medical waiver for the league’s abbreviated season, which begins July 25.

Had she received the waiver, Delle Donne, who has struggled with Lyme disease for more than a decade, would have been able to sit out while still being paid for the season. Now if she chooses not to play, she will not be paid.

Delle Donne, 30, made the revelation to ESPN. She said she had not yet made a decision on whether to play. She is the star player for the defending champions, the Washington Mystics.

The decision to deny her the waiver came from a panel of doctors, selected jointly by the league and the players’ union. Delle Donne said her personal physician had advised her not to play because of an increased risk of contracting and suffering complications from Covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.



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