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Whitehead to miss Live League Champions Week as Challenge Tour fallout continues

Jamie Shaw in Modus Live League 09 Aug 2021
Conan Whitehead in action (Photo by Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

Conan Whitehead will miss the Live League Champions Week after being forced to self-isolate following the actions of a fellow player on the PDC Challenge Tour.

Whitehead was one of 12 players withdrawn from Event Six of the Challenge Tour in Milton Keynes on Sunday after an unnamed player returned a positive Covid test.

This meant all players who had come into close contact with that player had to be removed from the event in accordance with government guidelines.

The 35-year-old was due to compete in the MODUS Live League Champions Week, which kicks off on Tuesday, but will now begin a period of self-isolation and has been replaced by Colin Osborne.

Whitehead took to social media to express his disappointment and shed light on the situation.

He said: ‘As most now know I was taken out of the Challenge Tour 6 yesterday because I unknowingly came into contact with a person who gave in a false COVID test.

‘This is not in any way acceptable on his part and I now have to self isolate due to government guidelines even though I have been double jabbed and have done a test today saying negative.

‘This now means I am missing out on a week in Champions Week. Modus Darts have been extremely helpful and professional as always. Also well done to the PDC staff for acting as quick as possible and efficiently in sorting out the mess this individual has caused.

‘I won’t name names as I’m sure everyone knows by now but to the individual I personally thank you for costing me my time and potentially a lot of earnings over the next week.

‘Thanks as always for the support from everyone you are all fantastic especially my team with TCL Management Tom Cosens and all my family this weekend I will be back and see you all soon.

‘I will be off Facebook for a week as I am still gutted this has happened and don’t want to be reminded of what I could have been doing this week.

‘So good luck to all at MODUS Champions Week this week and think yourselves lucky I’m not there!’

Whitehead’s fellow TCL stablemates Joe Davis and Scott Marsh were also withdrawn from Challenge Tour Six, with Marsh and Whitehead taken off their board mid-match.

All three players were also due to compete in Monday’s European Tour qualifying double-header, but had to withdraw.

A statement from TCL Management posted on Monday read: ‘At Challenge Tour 6, three members of the TCL Management stable were asked to leave the event with immediate effect after being named as a close contact of a player who had tested positive for Covid-19.

‘The perpetrator had earlier faked a lateral flow test to gain admittance into the event despite knowing he was positive.

‘It goes without saying that this behaviour is completely unacceptable, and we have formally raised our concerns with regards to the player in question with the PDC and PDPA.

‘Our three players affected are Joe Davis, Scott Marsh and Conan Whitehead. Scott and Conan were mid-match when they were asked to leave, while Joe was warming up for his board final.

‘All three are now self-isolating and have thankfully since returned negative lateral flow tests, aren’t showing symptoms, and are awaiting PCR Test results. It is worth noting that Scott and Conan are both double-jabbed.

‘We can only speculate on how far Joe, Scott and Conan may have progressed in event six. All three had been practicing hard for this batch of events and were in good form.

‘They have of course had to withdraw from the Euro Qualifiers today. Heartbreakingly, Conan has also been forced to withdraw from the Online Darts Live League Champions Week which he had worked so hard to qualify for.

‘If he had qualified for Saturday’s finale, he would been playing for a £5k 1st prize. To be forced to withdraw through no fault of his own, is of course utterly gut-wrenching.

‘We thank the PDC for working so speedily in an extremely difficult situation, and we thank those that got in contact showing concern for our player’s welfare.’

WATCH THE LIVE LEAGUE CHAMPIONS WEEK STREAMED LIVE HERE (18+)