Novak Djokovic Breaks His Silence on ‘Concerning’ and ‘Hurtful’ C0V-19 Breaching Allegations

Novak Djokovic Breaks His Silence on ‘Concerning’ and ‘Hurtful’ C0V-19 Breaching Allegations

By Max Sherry

Novak Djokovic Breaks His Silence On 'Concerning' And 'Hurtful' Covid-19 Breaching Allegations

Novak Djokovic has spoken.

Tennis’ world No.1 has released his first official statement since being allowed to remain in the country and defend his Australian Open title.

After initially having his visa cancelled at the border, despite controversially being granted a vaccine exemption, Djokovic eventually won his legal battle to remain Down Under and defend his Australian open title.

Now, just a few days later, the man himself has released a lengthy statement via social media where he addresses the “misinformation” surrounding his case as well as the “hurtful” and “concerning” allegations that he breached Covid-19 protocols by reportedly attending a group event close to his positive test result.

“I want to address the continuing misinformation about my activities and attendance at events in December in the lead up to my positive PCR Covid test result,” Djokovic wrote in the statement posted on Instagram and Twitter.

“This is misinformation which needs to be corrected, particularly in the interest of alleviating broader concern in the community about my presence in Australia, and to address matters which are very hurtful and concerning to my family.

“I want to emphasise that I have tried very hard to ensure the safety of everyone and my compliance with testing obligations.

“I attended a basketball game in Belgrade on 14 December after which it was reported that a number of people tested positive with Covid-19. Despite having no Covid symptoms, I took a rapid antigen test on 16 December which was negative, and out of an abundance of caution, also took an official and approved PCR Test on that same day.

“The next day I attended a tennis event in Belgrade to present awards to children and took a rapid antigen test before going to the event, and it was negative.

“I was asymptomatic and felt good, and I had not received the notification of a positive PCR Test result until after that event.

“The next day, on 18 December, I was at my tennis centre in Belgrade to fulfil a long-standing commitment for a L’Equipe interview and photoshoot. I cancelled all other events except for the L’Equipe interview.

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“I felt obliged to go ahead and conduct the L’Equipe interview as I didn’t want to let the journalist down, but did ensure I socially distanced and wore a mask except when my photograph was being taken.

“I felt obliged to go ahead and conduct the L’Equipe interview as I didn’t want to let the journalist down, but did ensure I socially distanced and wore a mask except when my photograph was being taken.

“While I went home after the interview to isolate for the required period, on reflection, this was an error of judgement and I accept that I should have rescheduled this commitment.”

The Serbian also delved into the issue with his travel declaration upon arrival Down Under, something which landed him in a detention hotel in Melbourne.

“On the issue of my travel declaration, this was submitted by my support team on my behalf as I told immigration officials on my arrival - and my agent sincerely apologises for the administrative mistake in ticking the incorrect box about my previous travel before coming to Australia,” Djokovic added.

“This was a human error and certainly not deliberate. We are living in challenging times in a global pandemic and sometimes these mistakes can occur. Today, my team has provided additional information to the Australian Government to clarify this matter.

“While I felt it was important to address and clarify misinformation I will not be making any further comment out of utmost respect for the Australian Government and their authorities and the current process.

“It is always an honour and a privilege to play in the Australian Open. The Australian Open is much-loved by players, fans and the community, not just in Victoria and in Australia, but around the globe, and I just want to have the opportunity to compete against the best players in the world and perform before one of the best crowds in the world.”


48-Hour 28,000km Plane Journey Lies Ahead If Novak Djokovic Wants To Play In Australian Open

Max Sherry

48-Hour 28,000km Plane Journey Lies Ahead If Novak Djokovic Wants To Play In Australian Open

There’s still hope for Novak Djokovic.

If tennis’ world No.1 stands any chance of winning his record 10th Australian Open title, he must first head back home to Serbia to apply for the correct visa.

Once that visa is successfully filled out, he could then return Down Under to await his fate at border control.

In total, the trip would be around 28,000km.

To put it simply, if Djokovic desperately wants to defend his Australian Open crown, he’ll have to spend at least 48 hours in a not-so-comfy plane chair.

Granted, it’ll probably be a first class ticket for the Serbian star, but still.

Credit: Alamy

Much to the amazement of sports fans and Australian citizens alike, Djokovic was controversially granted a vaccine exemption which would allow him to compete in the Australian Open.

When news broke of the hall pass, outrage ultimately ensued.

But less than 24 hours later, Djokovic - who has repeatedly refused to declare his vaccination status - had his visa rejected and was sent back to Serbia.

According to Australia’s health minister Greg Hunt, Djokovic did not provide “appropriate standards of proof” to enter the country.

But it seems hope is not lost for the 34-year-old.

According to The Age reporter Sam McClure, officials reckon Djokovic could still play in this year’s Grand Slam event in Melbourne if he endures a 28,000km round journey back to Serbia in order to complete the correct visa.

McClure tweeted: “Authorities believe Novak Djokovic can still play in this year’s Australian Open.

“He can return home, apply for the correct visa and come back to Australia.

“Would be one hell of a round trip but the door ain’t shut yet.”

It does pose the question as to whether being unvaccinated would still present a problem at the border?

But I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what this new visa brings to the table.

Either way, if Djokovic ends up doing the 28,000km round trip only to get denied at the border once again, you can imagine he’ll be in line for a huge amount of stick.

Novak Djokovic Has Been Denied Entry Into Australia Despite Covid Exemption

Novak Djokovic Has Been Denied Entry Into Australia Despite Covid Exemption

Novak Djokovic has been denied entry into Australia, just a day after receiving an exemption to play in the Australian Open despite not being vaccinated.

Djokovic’s chances of defending his ninth Australian Open title looked in doubt in October when the tournament confirmed players would need to be vaccinated.

Whilst the Serbian refused to confirm whether he’d been jabbed or not, his father called the decision to make them a requirement a form of ‘blackmail.’

On Tuesday, the 20 time Grand Slam winner revealed that he’d been given an exemption to play despite not being vaccinated, a decision that didn’t go down well with the public, especially host city Melbourne, which became the most lockdown city in the world last year.

However, on Wednesday, it was confirmed that there has been another twist in the tail, with the 34-year-old actually denied entry into the country due to a problem with his visa.

According to the Times, there was an issue with the application for a sub-visa to get into the country, to do with the vaccine exemption, that has stopped the tennis star at passport control.

The report says that the mistake wasn’t noticed until Djokovic was already on the 14 hour flight from Dubai to Melbourne for the tournament.

There had been an attempt to get the application changed but this has not been supported by the state of Victoria, and if another solution can’t be found then it could be the end of his time in Australia before it gets going.

“The federal government has asked if we will support Novak Djokovic’s visa application to enter Australia,” Victoria’s acting sports minister Jaala Pulford said.

“We will not be providing Novak Djokovic with individual visa application support to participate in the 2022 Australian Open grand slam.

“We’ve always been clear on two points: visa approvals are a matter for the federal government, and medical exemptions are a matter for doctors.”

Others with a similar issue have been detained at the airport and then sent on a flight back home from Australia.

Djokovic with his trophy after last year's tournament. Image: PA Images

Djokovic with his trophy after last year’s tournament.

Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison revealed that if Djokovic had insufficient evidence of why he should be given an exemption he would not be allowed into the country.

“If that evidence is insufficient, then he won’t be treated any different to anyone else,” Morrison said, “There should be no special rules for Novak Djokovic at all. None whatsoever.”

American star Tennys Sandgren took a slight dig at the world number one. The 30-year-old has had to pull out of the tournament because he has not been vaccinated.

Explaining his decision he said it was “because he did not meet any of the criteria listed for one.”

Britain’s Jamie Murray also questioned the decision to give Djokovic an exemption, saying, “I mean, I don’t know what to say about that really… I think if it was me that wasn’t vaccinated, I wouldn’t be getting an exemption.”

‘Justice Has Spoken’: Rafael Nadal Backflips On His Initial Novak Djokovic Comments

'Justice Has Spoken': Rafael Nadal Backflips On His Initial Novak Djokovic Comments

Rafael Nadal has done a complete U-turn in regards to his thoughts on the Novak Djokovic situation.

World No.1 Djokovic was recently successful in his court battle to have his deportation from Australia overturned.

It means the Serbian star can now defend his Australian Open title later this month.

When news first broke of his visa cancellation at the border and his subsequent detention at the infamous Park Hotel in Melbourne, a number of high profile figures had their say on the matter - Nadal being one of them, hitting out at his tennis rival for not getting the Covid-19 vaccine.

Credit: Alamy

Well, now that Djokovic has been granted permission to stay Down Under, Nadal appears to have backflipped - well, sort of.

“Whether or not I agree with Djokovic on some things, justice has spoken and has said that he has the right to participate in the Australian Open and I think it is the fairest decision to do so, if it has been resolved that way. I wish him the best of luck,” Nadal told Spanish radio station Onda Cero.

“On a personal level, I’d much rather he didn’t play.”

While he still seems on the fence about the entire thing, it’s certainly a change of direction from his initial comments made late last week.

“It seems a rough situation,” Nadal said.

“At the end of the day the only thing that I can say is we have been going through very challenging times and a lot of families have been suffering a lot during the last two years with the pandemic.

“I mean, it’s normal that the people here in Australia get very frustrated with the case because they have been going through a lot of very hard lockdowns and a lot of people were not able to come back home.

“From my point of view, that’s the only thing that I can say is I believe in what the people who knows about medicine says, and if the people says that we need to get vaccinated, we need to get the vaccine.

“I went through Covid. I have been vaccinated twice. If you do this you don’t have any problem to play here. That’s the only clear thing.

“The only clear thing is if you are vaccinated, you can play in the Australian Open and everywhere, and the world in my opinion has been suffering enough to not follow the rules.”


Boris Becker’s Blunt Vaccine Advice To Novak Djokovic

Max Sherry

Former tennis player Boris Becker is the latest big-name figure to have his say on the developing Novak Djokovic situation.

World No.1 Djokovic, who has managed to keep his vaccination status under wraps, is currently being held in Melbourne’s Park Hotel as he faces the nervous wait to see whether he’ll be let into the country.

The Serbian’s hopes of successfully defending his Australian Open title took a major blow when his visa was declined by border security, despite having controversially been granted an exemption to enter the country.

As you can probably imagine, fans and sports stars alike have been quick to chime in on the matter, some choosing to slam Djokovic AKA “Novax” while others have thrown their support behind him.

Novak Djokovic

Either way, people are now divided - although Becker appears to have made his stance on the issue crystal clear.

Speaking to Bild, six-time Grand Slam winner Becker said: “If he is sent back, Novak will have to rethink a few things.

“If he wants to continue his career, I strongly advise him to have a vaccination.

“Does he want this discussion before every tournament? In any case, he cannot go on like this.”
Boris Becker. Credit: Alamy Boris Becker

It’s blunt advice from one of tennis’ greats, but don’t expect Djokovic to take it onboard.

Even with his career potentially on the line, the Serbian star doesn’t seem to be budging on his vaccine beliefs.

A number of current and former players have spoken out against Djokovic, although there’s now a growing group of people who appear to take issue with his detention in Melbourne.

“I think everyone is shocked by it, to be honest,” Andy Murray recently told reporters in Australia.

“I’m going to say two things on it just now. The first thing is that I hope that Novak is OK. I know him well, and I’ve always had a good relationship with him and I hope that he’s OK.

“The second thing, it’s really not good for tennis at all, and I don’t think it’s good for anyone involved. I think it’s really bad.”

Aussie fan favourite Nick Kyrgios, who has never shied away from criticising Djokovic in the past, shared Murray’s views.

He tweeted: “Look I definitely believe in taking action, I got vaccinated because of others and for my mum’s health, but how we are handling Novak’s situation is bad, really bad.

“Like these memes, headlines, this is one of our great champions but at the end of the day, he is human. Do better.”

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