Sky News reporter Nicole Johnston in Melbourne explains the latest news on Novak Djokovic’s medical exemption
Novak Djokovic’s appeal to enter Australia with a medical exemption is based on a recent positive Covid-19 test, a dossier filed by his lawyers revealed on Saturday.
In court documents released on Saturday, it is stated that the Serb tested positive on December 16 and “has not had a fever or respiratory symptoms from COVID-19 for the past 72 hours.”
Djokovic has been held at an immigration center in Melbourne since Thursday morning after his visa was canceled following a close review of the medical exemption he obtained to attend the first major tennis tournament in the ‘year.
According to his legal team, Djokovic also received a letter from Tennis Australia’s chief medical officer stating that he had a medical exemption from the Covid vaccination.
It is claimed that the exemption certificate was “provided by an independent expert medical review committee appointed by Tennis Australia”, and “the decision of that committee has been reviewed and approved by an exemption review committee medical services independent of the government of the state of Victoria ”.
Djokovic supporters gather outside the Melbourne hotel where he is being held
Djokovic’s lawyers added that he obtained an “Australian travel statement because authorities told him [he met] the requirements for an arrival without quarantine in Australia ”.
Djokovic, nine-time winner of the Australian Open, must wait for a hearing on Monday to find out his fate.
It is also understood that a request from Djokovic to move from his current hotel to another accommodation with a tennis court was denied, along with a request for a personal chef.
On Saturday, it emerged that two other people who were also linked to the Australian Open left Australia voluntarily after being told to do so by border officials.
Djokovic’s mother Dijana says her son is treated as a “prisoner” in poor conditions at his quarantine hotel
One of them is Czech doubles specialist Renata Voracova, who took part in a warm-up tournament in Melbourne this week but has now chosen to leave Australia.
Djokovic, 34, is instructed to stay at the Park Hotel in Melbourne, which houses asylum seekers and refugees, before Monday’s hearing.
He broke his silence on Instagram, saying, “Thank you people all over the world for your continued support. I can feel it and it’s greatly appreciated.”
Novak Djokovic – Sequence of events
|January 4 – Djokovic announces that he will travel to Australia with an “exemption permit”.|
|January 5 – While Djokovic is in flight, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the athlete would be on the “next plane home” if he could not provide “acceptable proof” that his exemption was legitimate.|
|Acting Sports Minister Jaala Pulford stresses that local government in Victoria, where the Australian Open is being held, will not support Djokovic’s visa application.|
|The world number 1 arrives at Melbourne Airport around 11:30 p.m. local time.|
|January 6 – At around 3:15 a.m., Djokovic’s father reports that his son is being held in solitary confinement at Melbourne airport.|
|At 5 a.m., Goran Ivanisevic posts an image on social media of himself and another member of Djokovic’s squad who is apparently waiting for the world number 1.|
|At approximately 8:15 am local time, it was confirmed that Djokovic’s visa had been refused by Australian border forces.|
|Djokovic is transferred to a quarantine hotel while his legal team appeals for the visa to be canceled.|
|The appeal against his visa cancellation is adjourned until Monday morning Australian time.|
|January 7 – Australian Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews said Djokovic was “free to leave at any time” and was not being detained.|
|Djokovic breaks the silence in an Instagram post on Friday, thanking his fans for their “continued support.”|
|January 8 – The submission of Djokovic’s lawyers on Saturday reveals a positive Covid-19 test in December.|
Kyrgios: Djokovic will be very determined
Nick Kyrgios has said he wants to avoid being drawn to a fiery Djokovic if the defending Australian Open champion manages to convince authorities to allow him to play at this year’s tournament in Melbourne.
Kyrgios has said he expects the upheaval to have little impact on Djokovic’s preparation for the first major event of the season.
“If he’s cleared to play the Australian Open, I don’t want any bars from him,” the Australian told reporters at Sydney Olympic Park on Saturday, ahead of next week’s Sydney Tennis Classic.
“He’s going to be very determined to play well and take whatever happens. And I don’t want any bars from this Novak.
“I think he’ll have no problem getting ready. I think that’s just extra fuel for him, in my opinion.
“We all know how good he is as a competitor. You don’t become a great champion like that without being able to overcome adversity like this.”
Kyrgios has become an unlikely ally for Djokovic, with the couple sharing a difficult relationship since clashing ahead of last year’s Australian Open over quarantine conditions.
“It’s a bit of a mess what’s going on, and I just don’t think we’ve done it the right way,” he said.
- The 2022 tournament is scheduled to start on Monday, January 17.
“I hope everything will be sorted out as quickly as possible. For the sport we need here it is that simple. He is one of the most influential sportsmen, probably of all time.
“If he’s ready to play and he’s allowed to play, I think it’s kind of good for our sport with all this attention because the Australian Open probably won’t have that many points. of view that he probably never had if he was able to play.
“I feel for him now. Like that isn’t really human, right, what’s going on? His life is probably tough enough like that, and I know what it is.
“I just hope everything will work out soon.”
Voracova: The detention looked like an action movie
Voracova says she felt like she was in an action movie when she was arrested by Australian authorities over the validity of her visa.
Voracova this week joined Djokovic in Australian immigrant custody in a fury over the handling of the country’s Covid-19 vaccine exemptions, but unlike the Serbian, she decided not to appeal the cancellation of her visa. .
She had entered Australia and performed in Melbourne before being arrested on Thursday and was waiting to leave the country on Friday, she said in an interview with a news site. idnes.cz.
“I can’t say that they were mean to me,” Voracova reportedly said when asked about being questioned by the authorities. “But I wasn’t prepared for how it all turned out. It felt like I was in an action movie.”
“Several quarantine practices are not pleasant. We must point out, and everything is allocated. I feel a bit like in prison”, she declared from the hotel in Melbourne where she says to be confined in her room , with the windows closed and escorts in the entrance.
“I felt the worst when they told me they would cancel my visa. Even the lawyer who was with me said I had all the necessary confirmations [documents] in order, ”she said.
Voracova said she got the exemption because she recovered from having COVID-19 before Christmas. She said she didn’t object to the vaccinations but didn’t have time to get the shot after last season, as she had planned.
Voracova added that she hoped Djokovic’s legal challenge to the rejection of her visa would be successful and that she came to Australia to focus on tennis, not visa disputes.
“I want them to leave [Djokovic] player. We are athletes, we came because of tennis “,
Djokovic’s Aussie Open debacle: what happened?
Djokovic flew to Australia on a “vaccine exemption” and arrived in Melbourne on Wednesday, but was ultimately refused entry into the country after nine hours at the airport.
The Serbian’s visa did not allow medical exemptions and was canceled, after which he was transferred to quarantine at the hotel as his team made an appeal – that appeal was adjourned until Monday.