The WNBA has denied Washington Mystics forward Elena Delle Donne's request for an exemption from the 2020 season. Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

WNBA denies Elena Delle Donne's medical opt-out request

The WNBA has denied Elena Delle Donne's request to opt-out of the upcoming season for medical reasons, forcing her to decide if she will play or skip the season and not receive her salary.

Delle Donne requested to skip the season because she has Lyme disease, which her personal physician told her puts her at risk of contracting COVID-19. However, Lyme disease is not listed by the CDC as an underlying condition that increases your odds of catching the coronavirus, and an independent panel determined she was not at-risk more than anyone else.

"I love my team, and we had an unbelievable season last year, and I want to play!" Delle Donne said in a statement. "But the question is whether or not the WNBA bubble is safe for me. My personal physician who has treated me for Lyme disease for years advised me that I'm at high risk for contracting and having complications from COVID-19. I'm thinking things over, talking to my doctor and my wife, and look forward to sharing what I ultimately plan to do very soon."

Delle Donne is currently one of the biggest names in the WNBA, as she is coming off her best season as a pro during which she won her second MVP award while winning her first championship with the Washington Mystics. Erin Kane, Delle Donne's agent, said that Delle Donne was in "disbelief" when she found out her request had been denied, and she is now "making a choice between what's best for her from a health standpoint and what's best for her from a financial standpoint for her and her family."

Blake Harper is a writer based in New York. He's originally from San Diego and is one of the few Chargers fans left. He doesn't believe in ties and loves elaborate celebrations. Follow him on Twitter @beezyharps 

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