The controversy surrounding Novac Djokovic’s participation within the Australian Open takes one other flip.
This Wednesday the tennis participant acknowledged having made errors when filling out the documentation to enter the nation and admitted having violated the quarantine guidelines by assembly with a journalist regardless of having examined optimistic for coronavirus in December.
“I felt compelled to go to the interview with L’Equipe so as not to disappoint the journalist, but I kept a social distance and a mask all the time, except during the photographs. When I returned home I isolated myself and reflected. I made a mistake in judgment and I admit that I had to postpone the appointment,” he mentioned.
He did so by way of a press release on Instagram, including that his intention was to clear up “ongoing misinformation” about his actions whereas the Australian authorities decides whether or not or to not begin a second deportation continuing towards him.
The primary on the planet hopes to have the ability to play within the Australian Open, which begins on January 17, however his participation has been compromised by all of the controversy surrounding his visa.
Djokovic shouldn’t be vaccinated towards covid. On January 6, after touchdown in Australia, his visa was revoked resulting from alleged irregularities relating to the vaccination exemption that may have allowed him to enter the nation.
This Monday, nevertheless, Judge Anthony Kelly reversed the revocation of his visa and ordered the discharge of the participant, who had been in a migrant detention middle ever since.
But nonetheless, the federal government has not dominated out taking additional motion and there may be nonetheless the likelihood that the tennis participant’s visa might be canceled once more a couple of days earlier than the beginning of the event.
Alex Hawke, Australia’s Immigration Minister, might cancel the visa on the grounds that earlier Covid infections don’t depend as a waiver. They might even have it revoked for “formal errors” on their arrival migration type and potential violations of Serbia’s anticovid measures.
If Djokovic received the Australian Open it might be the twenty-first time he has received a Grand Slam event and he would grow to be essentially the most profitable tennis participant within the historical past of this sport.
The “mistakes” of Djokovic and his workforce
In his Instagram publish, Djokovic claims that on December 14 he was at a basketball recreation in Belgrade and later discovered that somebody current had examined optimistic.
Despite having no signs, he writes, he took a speedy antigen take a look at on day 16 and it was unfavorable. “As a precaution, I also did a PCR on the same day,” he says.
Instead of ready for the results of the PCR, on the seventeenth he attended a earlier antigen take a look at, which was additionally unfavorable. The optimistic results of the PCR was obtained after the occasion, he explains.
However, Djokovic acknowledges having met with a journalist from the French journal L’Equipe on the 18th, when he already knew that he had examined optimistic for coronavirus, as a result of “I didn’t want to disappoint him”.
“I made sure I was social distancing and wore a mask except for taking pictures,” he mentioned.
L’Equipe confirmed in an article that Djokovic wore his masks all the time, together with when his reporter requested him to take it off for 5 minutes.
The journalist, Franck Ramella, mentioned he had been requested to not ask Djokovic about his vaccination standing or the upcoming Australian Open, so he didn’t ask “if he had considered getting tested”.
“Even if we were to ask, what would be the point?” Ramella wrote.
Djokovic has additionally admitted to creating a false assertion on his immigration type earlier than coming into Australia and that his workforce is now offering extra info to authorities.
Specifically, he mentioned his agent made a mistake filling out a bit asking for details about his current journey historical past. In this it was famous that the tennis participant had not traveled in 14 days earlier than touchdown in Australia.
However, current reviews recommend that the 34-year-old tennis participant traveled to Serbia after which Spain earlier than flying to Australia.
“My agent sincerely apologizes for the clerical errors in filling in the wrong section. It was clearly unintentional human error.Djokovic wrote.
Meanwhile, Immigration said Tuesday that it is investigating whether Djokovic had made a “false assertion,” which would be grounds for the cancellation of his visa.
The ATP, the organization for men’s professional tennis, called for more clarity on the rules for entering Australia and urged players to get vaccinated.
Another twist in the story
Analysis by Shaimaa Khalil, Australia Correspondent
It seems that every time something is revealed about the Djokovic saga, the story seems less clear.
This morning I was watching him train. And just a few minutes after he walked off the court, everyone’s phone lit up.
In his statement, Djokovic pointed out two issues.
The first, about his covid-19 infection. While admitting you broke isolation rules doesn’t hurt your prospects for deportation, it certainly doesn’t look good.
For Australians who have had to deal with some of the world’s toughest restrictions, here’s a world-famous athlete who has publicly said he’s against getting vaccinated and has now revealed he broke isolation rules while infected.
The other main admission is that you have provided incorrect information on your travel declaration document.
Djokovic called it human error, but will Immigration officials accept it? We know that they are now looking at more information provided by the Novak team.
The Australian Open starts in a few days and there is still no guarantee that he will be able to defend his title.