Djokovic clears up moves before arriving in Australia: NPR

Djokovic clears up moves before arriving in Australia: NPR

Novak Djokovic, the defending champion of the Men of Serbia, trains in the Rod Laver Arena ahead of the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Wednesday, January 12, 2022.

Mark Baker / AP

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Mark Baker / AP

Novak Djokovic, the defending champion of the Men of Serbia, trains in the Rod Laver Arena ahead of the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Wednesday, January 12, 2022.

Mark Baker / AP

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) – Novak Djokovic knew he tested positive for COVID-19 when he attended a newspaper interview and photo shoot at his tennis center in Serbia last month and said he made a “wrong decision” on Wednesday and Should have done it immediately gone into isolation.

Djokovic moved to clarify “ongoing misinformation” about his movements while he was contagious last month and about errors on the travel document he used to enter Australia, where his visa was revoked and then in a COVID-19 vaccination saga , which overshadowed the days, was reinstated in the run-up to the Australian Open.

A statement was posted on Djokovic’s social media accounts while the men’s number 1 tennis was holding a training session against Tristan Schoolkate, a 20-year-old Australian, at Rod Laver Arena.

The nine-time and reigning Australian Open champion is pending before the first tennis major of the year kicks off next Monday, a week after winning a lawsuit allowing him to stay in the country.

However, he is still facing deportation as he is not vaccinated against COVID-19, a decision that is entirely at the discretion of the Australian Secretary of Immigration if it is in the public interest.

Djokovic reportedly attended events in his native Serbia last month after testing positive on December 16, including giving awards to children on December 17. There has also been speculation that mistakes on his immigration form could potentially result in his visa being revoked.

On the form, Djokovic said he had not traveled in the 14 days prior to his flight to Australia. The Monte Carlo-based athlete was spotted in Spain and Serbia during that two week period.

Describing Wednesday’s speculation as “hurtful”, Djokovic said he wanted to address it to “alleviate broader community concern about my presence in Australia”.

Djokovic said he took negative rapid tests and was asymptomatic in the days leading up to a positive result from an approved PRC test he took out of “great caution” after participating in a basketball game on December 14, “where Es a number of people have been reported to have tested positive. “

He received the result in late December 17 and said he had given up all of his commitments except for the long-standing interview with L’Equipe.

“I felt obliged to keep going … but I made sure to keep myself socially distant and wear a mask unless my photo was taken,” Djokovic said in the statement. “Although I went home after the interview to isolate myself for the required period of time, after deliberation this was a misjudgment and I accept that I should have postponed the engagement.”

He addressed the travel statement by saying it was submitted on his behalf by his support team and that “my agent sincerely apologizes for the administrative error in ticking the wrong box”.

“This was a human error and certainly not intended,” he wrote. “The team provided additional information to the Australian government to help resolve this issue.”

The question is whether he has a valid exemption from regulations requiring vaccination to enter Australia since he recently recovered from COVID-19.

The decision can still take a while. Immigration Secretary Alex Hawke’s office said in a statement that Djokovic’s legal team had filed additional documents against the possible waiver of his visa, adding, “This will of course affect the timeframe for a decision.”

Meanwhile, concern in the community is growing with the rise in COVID-19 cases.

The state of Victoria, whose capital Melbourne will host the Australian Open from next week, reported 21 deaths and 40,127 new cases on Wednesday.

Deputy Prime Minister James Merlino said the state’s health system was tight, with around 6,600 workers off duty after positive tests or close contact with a positive case, and new pandemic regulations are coming into effect to make booster vaccinations mandatory for critical workers .

Hobart-based immigration attorney Greg Barnes told The Associated Press that if Hawke takes action he could choose to simply cancel Djokovic’s visa or notify the tennis star of his intention to cancel it.

Barnes said Hawke has “a personal power,” which means he doesn’t have to grant natural justice if he decides it is in the public interest to cancel the visa.

If Djokovic’s visa is canceled, his lawyers could go back to court to seek an injunction preventing him from leaving the country.

Hawke “can go the path of natural justice (but) he doesn’t have to go by natural justice, so he can just break it,” said Barnes. “Then you have to go to court to try to put that aside, and that is very difficult.”

If the government issues a letter of intent, Barnes said it could give Djokovic five to nine days to respond, depending on when he receives it.

“That could be a way to give Djokovic a chance in the tournament and then kick him out in the end,” said Barnes. “In my experience, they rarely change their minds.”

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Rachel Meadows

Rachel Meadows

Trending topics news writer who enjoys cooking, walking her dog and travel.

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