Djokovic tested positive for coronavirus in December, his lawyers say

MELBOURNE, Australia – In a court file on Saturday, lawyers for Novak Djokovic said the tennis star tested positive for the coronavirus ...


MELBOURNE, Australia – In a court file on Saturday, lawyers for Novak Djokovic said the tennis star tested positive for the coronavirus in mid-December and that the Australian government made a mistake this week by canceling his visa for a vaccine requirement.

Mr. Djokovic, who hopes to defend his title in men’s singles at the Australian Open this month, was refused permission to enter the country on Thursday after arriving at Melbourne Airport. Border officials said they canceled his visa because he failed to provide evidence to justify being exempted from Australia’s requirement to vaccinate arrivals against the coronavirus.

In the depot Mr Djokovic’s lawyers said on Saturday Tennis Australia granted him a vaccine exemption due to a positive coronavirus test result on December 16 and because 14 days later he had not had a fever no respiratory symptoms for 72 hours.

The terms of the exemption were in line with the recommendations of the Australian vaccination advisory body, the lawyers argued. In view of these and other circumstances, “Mr. Djokovic understood that he had the right to enter Australia,” the file indicates.

Mr. Djokovic, a skeptical vaccine, is in quarantine at a Melbourne hotel as he awaits a hearing, scheduled for Monday, on his appeal of the government’s decision to revoke his visa.

He announced in June 2020 that he and his wife had tested positive for the coronavirus, but that his December infection had not previously been disclosed.

Lawyers for Mr Djokovic argue that the Australian authorities, by canceling his visa, “radically and fundamentally” misinterpreted or misapplied the advice of the Australian Vaccination Advisory Body as to whether a coronavirus infection in the past last six months should exempt him from compulsory vaccination.

The case file also claims that Mr Djokovic was denied procedural fairness after arriving in Australia, when he was detained at the airport by immigration officials from around midnight to 8 a.m.

His lawyers say Mr Djokovic was first informed by immigration officials that a decision on his visa would not be made until after 8:30 a.m., after he had the opportunity to speak to Tennis officials. Australia. But around 6 a.m., they say, he was pressured to consent to an immediate decision. He relented, “feeling he had no choice,” and was told at 7:42 am that his visa had been canceled, according to the record.

The Australian Border Force declined to comment on the case, citing the ongoing hearing. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that the revocation of Mr. Djokovic’s visa was “simply a matter of compliance with the rules”.

If Mr. Djokovic’s appeal fails, he could be banned from entering Australia for three years, under the rules applicable to persons whose visas are canceled.

Separately, the Australian Border Force said on Saturday evening that two other people linked to the tennis tournament it was investigating had left the country.

“The Australian Border Force’s (ABF) investigation into the visa status of two other Australian Open-related individuals is over,” he said in an emailed statement. “The ABF can confirm that the two have now voluntarily left Australia.”

The statement did not identify the two people, but local media reported the investigations Few days ago.

The Czech Foreign Ministry on Friday confirmed in a statement that a Czech player, Renata Voracova, had been placed in the same detention like Mr. Djokovic, as well as “with several other tennis players”. She had “proven non-contagious status in a way that allows her to participate in the tournament” and had previously played in a warm-up event, the statement said, but had “decided to forgo all participation in the tournament and leave Australia due to limited training opportunity.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation also reported that a European tennis official in similar circumstances had left the country.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Djokovic tested positive for coronavirus in December, his lawyers say
Djokovic tested positive for coronavirus in December, his lawyers say
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