WNBA MVP Elena Delle Donne Says Physicians Denied Opt Out Request


Mystics star Elena Delle Donne said on Monday the WNBA denied her request to opt out of the 2020 WNBA season. 

The decision is "at odds with the advice she received from her own personal physician," according to ESPN's John Barr and Sarah Spain. Monday's decision came from a panel of medical directors appointed jointly by the WNBA and Players Association. 

"The independent panel of doctors the league appointed to review high-risk cases have advised that I'm not high risk, and should be permitted to play in the bubble," Delle Donne told ESPN in a statement. "I love my team, and we had an unbelievable season last year, and I want to play! 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."

Delle Donne is the WNBA's reigning MVP. She has not joined her teammates at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. as of Monday night. The WNBA is currently slated to begin on July 25 as the Seattle Storm face the New York Liberty.

Delle Donne is still able to opt out of the 2020 WNBA season, even if her request is not granted by the WNBA team of physicians. Though if she opts to sit out without being deemed "high risk," she will not receive her full salary, per Barr and Spain.

Delle Donne, 30, is a six-time All-Star. She played with the Chicago Sky from 2013-16 before joining the Mystics. Delle Donne won her first WNBA title in 2019.