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Elena Delle Donne on medical opt-out denial: 'I was shocked'

July 15, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

Elena Delle Donne, the reigning WNBA MVP, wants to play basketball. But the Washington Mystics star, who has battled Lyme disease for years, also wonders how her body would react if she contracted Covid-19 while playing.

(CNN)Elena Delle Donne, the reigning WNBA MVP, wants to play basketball.

On Monday, a panel of doctors denied Delle Donne's request to opt-out of the WNBA season for medical reasons, saying she is not at high risk of contracting Covid-19 and should be allowed to play.

However, Delle Donne, 30, said in a statement that her personal physician had told her that she's indeed at high risk.

"I was shocked," Delle Donne, also a WNBPA vice president, told CNN on Wednesday.

In an essay in The Players Tribune on Wednesday, Delle Donne revealed that she takes 64 pills a day, and she told CNN it takes a toll on her.

"It does, and it scares me," Delle Donne said.

The WNBA, when reached by CNN on Monday, declined to comment on Delle Donne's opt-out request, citing privacy concerns on health matters.

"As with all of our players, we have and will support Elena throughout this process," Mystics head coach and general manager Mike Thibault said in a statement on Monday.

WNBPA executive director Terri Jackson said in an email Wednesday to CNN, "It's inappropriate for the PA to comment on a player's medical status.

Delle Donne is still weighing whether to play this season, which begins on July 25 and will be held at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.

"We don't make NBA money, and I think that's been well covered and people understand that," Delle Donne said.

"I know there's so many people through Covid who have lost their jobs, who haven't been able to decide whether to take care of themselves health-wise or go to work because they just don't have the option," Delle Donne said.

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