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Novak Djokovic: Error in travel declaration and corona rules violated

by archysport

Scandal about tennis star
Djokovic admits errors in travel declaration – and also admits to having violated Corona rules

Tennis star Novak Djokovic is still threatened with expulsion from Australia

© Greg Wood / AFP

In the case of Novak Djokovic, there is a new development. For the first time, the tennis star expresses himself on the allegations of violating the corona rules before entering Australia.

New reports and photos by Novak Djokovic have been causing a stir for days. The tennis star is said to have given false information when he entered Australia and also to have attended events after his positive corona test in December. With a long statement on Instagram, Djokovic is now expressing himself for the first time after his entry problems – and provides further contradictions.

The world number one denied having deliberately given false information about his travel behavior, but admitted that his entry form had been filled out incorrectly. He blamed his employees for this. Djokovic also defended himself against the accusation of having attended an event with children in December, knowing his positive corona test. Instead, he admitted to meeting a journalist at the time.

Djokovic described the “misinformation” that needed to be corrected as “hurtful and worrying to my family”. He wants to point out that he has tried very hard for the safety of others and compliance with test specifications. It was important to him to clarify all of this, but he would not comment on the incident out of respect for the Australian government.

Novak Djokovic: Met a journalist after a positive test

Border officials had initially refused Djokovic entry because he could not show a corona vaccination certificate and they therefore did not recognize his special permit. According to Djokovic’s lawyers, the exemption for entry after a positive corona test by the Serb was approved by two independent medical bodies on December 16.

In this context, Djokovic now admitted to having met journalists from the French sports newspaper L’Equipe on December 18, despite the positive test result. He felt “obliged” to do so because he “did not want to disappoint the journalists,” he said. But he made sure that he kept his distance and wore a mask, “except when I was photographed,” he added. “When I think about it, it was a miscalculation and I accept that I should have postponed this commitment.”

On the other hand, he described reports of public appearances in Serbia after the infection as “misinformation”. The day after his positive test, Djokovic appeared with his picture at a youth tennis event and stamp presentation ceremony. Apparently he did not wear a mask at either event. Djokovic said he only received the test result after participating in the children’s tennis event. He made no mention of the stamp ceremony.

Wrong box ticked in travel declaration

The tennis pro also admitted the mistake in his travel declaration for Australia. A box was ticked inside that said he had not traveled to any other country in the 14 days prior to his flight to Melbourne. Australian media had previously reported that Djokovic had also been in Serbia in the 14 days before his departure from Spain, but this was not stated on the form.

The declaration had been “submitted on my behalf” by his supervisory team. He told the immigration authorities that on his arrival, said Djokovic. “My agent sincerely apologizes,” he added. It was “a human error and certainly not an intention”.

A judge had allowed Djokovic to enter Australia on Monday and lifted the cancellation of his visa. The reason given was that Djokovic had not been given enough time to clarify the situation before his visa was canceled.

Djokovic is still threatened with expulsion from Australia

The world number one is still threatened with expulsion from Australia. According to expert on immigration law, Christopher Levingston, the government could cancel Djokovic’s visa on criminal grounds, for example because the travel declaration was not filled out correctly.

The immigration minister could also cancel the visa for reasons of character. If Djokovic knowingly bypassed Serbian isolation rules for positive cases, he could be classified as a risk for potentially failing to obey public health orders while in Australia, Levingston said. Both Djokovic and the government had various options to appeal, but ultimately the Minister of Immigration could use his personal power to cancel the visa.


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