Home Sport news Novak Djokovic: “I am not vaccinated” – his interrogation is in the record

Novak Djokovic: “I am not vaccinated” – his interrogation is in the record

by archysport

Tennis star in turbulence
“I am not vaccinated” – Djokovic’s seven-hour interrogation in the record

Novak Djokovic was injured twice in Covid.

© Paul Crock / AFP

From half past twelve to quarter to eight on the morning of January 6th, Novak Djokovic was questioned in Melbourne. The transcript of the conversation clearly shows what was only speculated about the tennis star.

The transcript of Novak Djokovic’s interrogation is 30 pages long. The interview began on January 6th at 0.21 a.m., two Australian customs officers spoke to the tennis star, and there were several breaks and interruptions. In the end, at a quarter to eight in the morning, it was all about which airline he had flown to Melbourne with. She must now be informed, according to the interviewer, because she has to fly the Serbs back to Dubai.

Novak Djokovic: “I am not vaccinated”

One of the most informative parts of the interrogation comes relatively quickly at the beginning, when the border guard asks the athlete for his data and wants to know how his vaccination is going. “I am not vaccinated,” says Djokovic. “Against Covid-19? Not vaccinated?” Asks the interviewer. “I am not vaccinated,” said the Serb. So far, his refusal to vaccinate has only ever been accepted because he never made his status public. According to the minutes of the meeting, however, it is now official. In it, number one in the tennis world rankings indicates that he has already had Corona twice, most recently in mid-December. And that should have been the trigger for the mess.

In short, it looks like this: The border authorities wanted to forbid him from entering the country, but a court overturned the decision. Nevertheless, Djokovic still has to worry about his participation in the Australian Open – because the immigration minister Alex Hawke can still overturn the court decision. The government has already indicated that it wants to refuse Djokovic the visa. Whatever the outcome, in the end, everyone involved seems to be damaged. The interview protocol does not show that the officers refused entry to the athlete out of sheer arbitrariness, but they have not shown themselves to be particularly helpful and transparent either.

This becomes clear around four in the morning when interviewer Djokovic explains the legal basis and then says: “Now that I have explained this to you, I will give you 20 minutes to give us reasons why we should not revoke your visa. ” Djokovic replies: “Well, you are legally giving me 20 minutes to get you information that I don’t have? At four in the morning? I think you are putting me in a tricky situation, I can barely see the director of tennis at four Call Australia (the host of the Australian Open, ed.). I can’t connect to anyone from the Victoria state government through Tennis Australia. I don’t know what else to tell them. “

What else could Djokovic have done?

As the transcript shows, Djokovic’s entry seems to have failed because of bureaucratic formalities – or perhaps because of the interpretation of the requirements. In essence, the athlete argues that he forwarded all the requested documents through his agent to Tennis Australia and / or to the state government of the state of Victoria, in which Melbourne is located. They, in turn, would have sent the visa application to the responsible federal authority, which would then have given the green light for him via QR code. The border official, however, objected that he would not have a confirmation from the federal government, and a convalescence status would not replace the required vaccinations – so the complicated situation in brief.

In court, Djokovic’s lawyers argued that the waiver for his visa was approved by two independent medical bodies. Judge Anthony Kelly followed their point of view and ordered the cancellation of the visa to be lifted as he considered the authorities’ behavior to be disproportionate. “What more could this man have done?” Said Kelly.

Friendly but cool

Novak Djokovic was questioned seven times on the Australian night of January 6th. The conversation ends after around seven hours; You can read how the professional tennis player is accompanied by a “detaining officer” named Beck to a hotel in the city, where he had to spend the following days. The officials’ dealings with the tennis star are friendly and formal, but sometimes also bureaucratic and cool. In a way, the protocol also makes it very clear why the state of Australia is notorious for its harsh entry conditions.

sources: Federal Court Australia, DPA, AFP

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