Novak Djokovic tested positive for COVID-19 last month, court documents show

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Novak Djokovic‘s lawyers filed tribunal papers Saturday successful his situation against deportation from Australia that amusement the tennis prima tested affirmative for COVID-19 past period and recovered, grounds helium utilized successful applying for a aesculapian exemption to the country’s strict vaccination rules.

The No. 1-ranked Djokovic was denied introduction astatine the Melbourne airdrome precocious Wednesday aft borderline officials canceled his visa for failing to conscionable its introduction request that each non-citizens beryllium afloat vaccinated for COVID-19.

Djokovic was fixed a aesculapian exemption backed by the Victoria authorities authorities and Australian Open organizers connected Jan. 1, based connected accusation helium supplied to 2 autarkic aesculapian panels, and helium was approved for a visa electronically.

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But it has since emerged that the Victoria authorities aesculapian exemption, allowed for radical who tested affirmative for the coronavirus wrong the past six months, was deemed invalid by the national borderline authorities.

Djokovic has been confined to an migration detention edifice successful Melbourne, wherever he’s been preparing for the ineligible situation against his visa cancellation successful the Federal Circuit Court connected Monday.

The Australian Open starts a week from Monday connected Jan. 17. Djokovic is the defending champion and has won the Australian Open men’s singles rubric 9 times. He has 20 Grand Slam singles title, a men’s grounds helium shares with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

 '‘Rules are rules;’ Australian PM says Djokovic failed to supply  impervious  of aesculapian  exemption' 1:25 ‘Rules are rules;’ Australian PM says Djokovic failed to supply impervious of aesculapian exemption

‘Rules are rules;’ Australian PM says Djokovic failed to supply impervious of aesculapian exemption

The Australian Broadcasting Corp. and the Australian Associated Press reported details of the documents precocious Saturday, 2 days earlier the tribunal hearing.

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It showed Djokovic received a missive from Tennis Australia’s main aesculapian serviceman connected Dec. 30 past twelvemonth “recording that helium had been provided with a `medical exemption from COVID vaccination’ connected the grounds that helium had precocious recovered from COVID.”

The exemption certification said the day of the 34-year-old Serb’s archetypal affirmative trial was Dec. 16, 2021, “and that helium had not had a fever oregon respiratory symptoms successful the past 72 hours.”

On Dec. 14, Djokovic attended a Euroleague hoops crippled betwixt Red Star and Barcelona successful a packed sports hallway successful Belgrade. He was photographed hugging respective players of some teams, including immoderate who soon aboriginal tested positive.

The tribunal submission Saturday said Djokovic received confirmation from Australia’s Department of Home Affairs saying that his question declaration had been assessed and that his responses indicated helium met the requirements for quarantine-free accomplishment successful Australia.

If helium fails to person his visa cancellation overturned and gets deported, Djokovic could beryllium barred from the state for up to 3 years.

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In an emailed effect to The Associated Press astir what could transpire if Djokovic loses his ineligible fight, the Australian Border Force said: “A idiosyncratic whose visa has been canceled whitethorn beryllium taxable to a three-year exclusion play that prevents the assistance of a further impermanent visa.”

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“The exclusion play volition beryllium considered arsenic portion of immoderate caller visa exertion and tin beryllium waived successful definite circumstances, noting each lawsuit is assessed connected its ain merits.”

Protestors stitchery extracurricular an migration detention edifice wherever Serbia’s Novak Djokovic is believed to stay, successful Melbourne, Australia, Friday, Jan. 7, 2022. AP Photo/Hamish Blair

Australian Open organizers person not commented publically since Wednesday, but to archer Australian newspapers that nary players person been misled implicit the vaccination requirements.

Tournament manager Craig Tiley has continued moving successful the inheritance with Djokovic.

Tiley’s video connection to Australian Open unit astir the tournament’s “difficult clip successful the nationalist arena” was published successful News Corp. newspapers Saturday.

“There’s been a condition that relates to a mates of players, Novak peculiarly . . . successful a concern that is precise difficult,” Tiley said successful the video. “We’re a player-first event. We’re moving intimately with Novak and his team, and others and their team, that are successful this situation.”

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 'Djokovic says helium  supports WTA suspending China events implicit    Peng Shuai concerns' 1:14 Djokovic says helium supports WTA suspending China events implicit Peng Shuai concerns

Djokovic says helium supports WTA suspending China events implicit Peng Shuai concerns – Dec 2, 2021

The 34-year-old Djokovic was 1 of 2 players enactment into detention successful a edifice successful Melbourne that besides houses refugees and asylum seekers. A 3rd person, reported to beryllium an official, near the state voluntarily aft borderline unit investigations.

The different subordinate was 38-year-old doubles subordinate Renata Voracova, who had already been successful Australia for a week earlier an probe by the borderline officials. She told media from the Czech Republic she’d been confined to a country and determination was a defender successful the corridor.

Djokovic reached retired to the satellite for the archetypal clip successful 3 days connected Friday night, posting connected societal media to people the Orthodox Christmas and convey his supporters. There’s been large-scale rallies successful Belgrade and tiny groups of supporters person gathered regular extracurricular his detention hotel.

“Thank you to the radical astir the satellite for your continuous support,” Djokovic posted connected Instagram. “I tin consciousness it and it is greatly appreciated.”

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After months of speculation he’d miss the tourney due to the fact that of his stance connected vaccination, Djokovic announced connected Tuesday via societal media that he’d received a aesculapian exemption to play successful the tournament.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that whitethorn person raised the attraction of borderline officials.

Mr Djokovic’s visa has been cancelled. Rules are rules, particularly erstwhile it comes to our borders. No 1 is supra these rules. Our beardown borderline policies person been captious to Australia having 1 of the lowest decease rates successful the satellite from COVID, we are continuing to beryllium vigilant.

— Scott Morrison (@ScottMorrisonMP) January 5, 2022

Tiley said successful his video to Australian Open unit that helium couldn’t talk publically due to the fact that of the ongoing ineligible matter, but defended his organization.

“There’s a batch of digit pointing going connected and a batch of blaming going on,” helium said successful the video, “but I tin guarantee you our squad has done an unbelievable occupation and person done everything they perchance could according to each the instructions that they person been provided.”

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So, who is astatine fault? Prime Minister Morrison said “rules are rules” and that incoming passengers were liable for gathering borderline regulations.

Tennis Australia and the authorities of Victoria state, wherever the Australian Open is played, are blaming disorder implicit the precise definitions regarding grounds for aesculapian exemptions.

Tennis Australia, which runs the tourney and organizes the logistics for much than 2,000 incoming players, unit and officials, reportedly gave incorrect interpretations to players astir the acceptable grounds for an exemption. That included the mentation that having had a coronavirus corruption wrong the erstwhile six months would qualify.

The national authorities disagreed.

The Victoria authorities authorities mandated that each players, staff, fans and officials indispensable beryllium afloat vaccinated for COVID-19 to participate the tournament.

The state, which approved the aesculapian exemptions for Djokovic, said those exemptions for were for entree to Melbourne Park, not the border.

Associated Press Writer Dusan Stojanovic successful Belgrade, Serbia contributed to this report.

© 2022 The Canadian Press

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