MICHAEL VAN GERWEN has claimed some darts players lied about the accuracy of their Covid tests during the last PDC World Championship.
The Dutchman was booted out of the 2022 Worlds before the third-round stage when he tested positive for coronavirus last Christmas.
Stars had to provide proof of a negative test before matches at Ally Pally.
And Vincent van der Voort as well as Dave Chisnall were among those who held up their hands, withdrawing from competition after telling officials they had caught the killer bug.
As he departed, the three-time world champion accused the PDC of lax health and safety protocols as he missed out on the £500,000 top prize jackpot, which ended up being won by Peter Wright.
Reflecting back on that episode 12 months on, Van Gerwen has accused rivals of not owning up to their exact health status.
And the 33-year-old father-of-two says he could not have lived with himself if he had fabricated a result to carry on playing despite the strict rules.
Van Gerwen said: “I’m just one of the guys who was honest – I’d say it that way.
“There weren’t a lot of honest people but I was one of them.
“I’m not going to name names. I feel better in myself, of course, I couldn’t live with myself otherwise.
“It hurts. But if you look at it that way, there is a lot more important than a game of darts.
“I wasn’t really sick or anything. Everything goes through your mind at the time but I’m not going to lie.
“I don’t think about the money. I was more annoyed, I knew I had a chance to win it.
“It’s one of those things, I made a decision and I did it with a clear mind.
“You also need to stand behind your decision.”
Van Gerwen will open his campaign on Wednesday December 21 in the second round against either Dutchman Niels Zonneveld or Welsh qualifier Lewy Williams.
You have to go back to December 2010 – long before he hit the oche limelight – when he last lost his opening match of the sport’s biggest tournament.
This year he has been in scintillating form, winning the Premier League, the World Matchplay, the World Grand Prix and the Players Championship Finals last month.
Van Gerwen said: “I’m playing good darts again. Let people say or think whatever they want. I just do my thing.
“I’m starting to win tournaments again, that’s the only thing that matters. You get judged on your performances. That’s how it is.”
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