Controversy has been a regular part of the Novak Djokovic expertise since he ascended to the higher echelon of tennis greater than a decade in the past, and the Serbian celebrity is as soon as once more making headlines for his off the court docket conduct on the Australian Open. Djokovic, who refuses to be vaccinated in opposition to COVID-19, was detained upon arriving in Australia on January 5 and had his visa canceled. The next battle over whether or not he'll play within the 12 months’s first Grand Slam has been full of the sorts of twists and turns often reserved for an epic five-set match.
On December 30, Djokovic was granted a medical exemption to take part within the Australian Open by its governing physique, Tennis Australia, which is the one means an unvaccinated athlete can be allowed to play, given the nation’s strict vaccination guidelines. However when he arrived in Australia, this visa was canceled by the federal authorities as a result of he's unvaccinated, as he admitted in an interview with the Australian Border Force final Thursday. Djokovic additionally defined in that interview that he had examined optimistic for COVID twice, as soon as again in June 2020 after which once more on December 16, 2021.
The Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, even inserted himself into the state of affairs, tweeting, “Mr. Djokovic’s visa has been cancelled. Guidelines are guidelines, particularly in relation to our borders. Nobody is above these guidelines” on January 5.” Australia has instituted prolonged lockdowns and strict measures to stop the proliferation of COVID, however the Omicron variant has spread quickly around the country, and the Djokovic state of affairs has sparked outrage from pro- and anti-vaccine contingents.
Subsequent reporting has discovered that Australia’s Well being Minister Greg Hunt issued a statement on November 29 to Craig Tiley, CEO of Tennis Australia, stating that unvaccinated gamers couldn't use the truth that they'd COVID-19 inside the final six months as a sound motive to enter the nation with a medical exemption.
Per a CNN timeline of Djokovic’s final year-plus, he attended a youth-oriented tennis occasion on the 17th, earlier than he knew he had examined optimistic. However after he received the consequence, he nonetheless elected to do an in-person interview on the 18th earlier than testing destructive on the 22nd.
That is the place issues get robust to comply with. Djokovic marked on an official visa type that he had not traveled within the two weeks earlier than he headed to Australia, however it turned out that he had moved between Serbia and Spain. However in a January 11 Instagram post, he wrote that his agent made an “administrative mistake in ticking the inaccurate field about my earlier journey earlier than coming to Australia.” He went on to say, “This was a human error and positively not deliberate.”
Djokovic and his workforce filed for an attraction, which triggered a January 10 listening to. His state of affairs additionally drew consideration to the way in which individuals looking for asylum have been handled in Australia beneath Morrison’s regime. A number of individuals who had frolicked on the Park Lodge the place the tennis star was positioned told the BBC about poor, dispiriting situations, and inedible meals that often contained maggots. Morrison is on the far proper of the immigration problem, and critics of his policies have pointed to his therapy of Djokovic on this context.