Djokovic denies misrepresentation and endangering others

Novak Djokovic

After entering Australia, the tennis player defends himself against the accusation that he has given false information.

(Photo: Reuters)

Melbourne With a long statement via Instagram, Novak Djokovic himself expressed himself publicly for the first time since his entry problems to Australia, but caused further contradictions.

The 34-year-old number one in the tennis world rankings defended himself on Wednesday (local time) around another training session in Melbourne Park against two allegations: Neither did he intentionally give false information about his travel behavior in the 14 days before the flight The host country of the Australian Open, which starts next week, he still attended an event with children in December, knowing his positive corona test, and moved there without a mask.

Djokovic described the “misinformation” that needed to be corrected as “hurtful and worrying to my family”. He wants to point out that he has tried very hard for the safety of others and compliance with test specifications. It was important to him to clarify all of this, but he would not comment on the incidents out of respect for the Australian government.

However, the Serb also admitted that in an interview with the French sports newspaper “L’Equipe” on December 18, he already knew about his positive test result and still had not canceled the appointment. He just kept his distance and only removed his mask for the photographer. “Although I went home after the interview and went into isolation for the prescribed length of time, after thinking more carefully, that was a misjudgment and I understand that I should have postponed this commitment,” he wrote.

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Djokovic was refused entry to Australia at Melbourne Airport last week because he was not vaccinated against the coronavirus and the documentation of his medical exemption was insufficient for the authorities.

“I had no symptoms and felt good”

Because the border officials had not given him the agreed time to clarify, the decision was overturned during a court hearing on Monday. The Australian immigration minister has since reserved the right to make use of his personal rights and still invalidate Djokovic’s visa. That decision is still pending.

Djokovic’s lawyers provided more information and documents on the matter, said the tennis pro and a spokesman for Minister Alex Hawke. “Of course, this has an impact on the time frame for a decision,” it said, according to the Australian media from the ministry.

The fact that it was incorrectly stated in his entry form that he had not traveled in the 14 days before his flight to Australia was described by Djokovic as a “human error” of his agent, “which was certainly not intentional”.

At the event with children, at which he appeared on December 17th and thus, according to previous information in the court documents, one day after “test and diagnosis” without a mask, he had not yet known about the positive result. On December 16, he had a negative antigen test and, out of sheer caution, also a PCR test. “I had no symptoms and felt fine and I received the news of the positive PCR test only after the event,” wrote Djokovic.

More: Australian court decides: Novak Djokovic is allowed to enter


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