Djokovic Examined Constructive for Coronavirus in December, His Attorneys Say

MELBOURNE, Australia — In a court docket submitting on Saturday, attorneys for Novak Djokovic said the tennis star experienced analyzed favourable for the coronavirus in mid-December, and that the Australian government experienced erred this week in canceling his visa around a vaccine requirement.

Mr. Djokovic, who hopes to defend his men’s singles title at the Australian Open this month, was denied authorization to enter the state on Thursday after arriving at a Melbourne airport. The border authorities mentioned they canceled his visa due to the fact he had not offered proof to justify being exempted from Australia’s need that arrivals be vaccinated against the coronavirus.

In the submitting on Saturday, Mr. Djokovic’s legal professionals mentioned he had been granted a vaccine exemption by Tennis Australia for the reason that of a favourable Dec. 16 coronavirus test outcome, and due to the fact 14 times afterwards, he experienced not had a fever or respiratory symptoms in 72 hrs.

The ailments of the exemption had been dependable with the suggestions of Australia’s immunization advisory system, the legal professionals argued. Offered these situations, amongst many others, “Mr. Djokovic comprehended that he was entitled to enter Australia,” the filing go through.

Mr. Djokovic, a vaccine skeptic, is in quarantine at a hotel in Melbourne as he awaits a listening to, scheduled for Monday, on his attractiveness of the government’s determination to revoke his visa.

He declared in June 2020 that he and his wife had examined constructive for the coronavirus, but his December an infection had not beforehand been disclosed.

Mr. Djokovic’s legal professionals argue that the Australian authorities, in canceling his visa, “radically and fundamentally” misconstrued or misapplied guidance from Australia’s immunization advisory physique about regardless of whether a coronavirus infection inside of the earlier six months must exempt him from the vaccination requirement.

The filing also claims that Mr. Djokovic was denied procedural fairness just after arriving in Australia, when he was held at the airport by the immigration authorities from about midnight to 8 a.m.

His legal professionals say Mr. Djokovic was in the beginning explained to by immigration officers that a final decision about his visa would not be made till after 8:30 a.m., soon after he had a chance to communicate to Tennis Australia officials. But all over 6 a.m., they say, he was pressured to consent to an quick choice. He relented, “feeling he had no preference,” and was notified at 7:42 a.m. that his visa had been canceled, according to the submitting.

The Australian Border Drive declined to remark on the submitting, citing the pending court hearing. Primary Minister Scott Morrison has claimed that the revocation of Mr. Djokovic’s visa was “simply a subject of subsequent the rules.”

If Mr. Djokovic’s enchantment fails, he could be barred from entering Australia for three years, below procedures relevant to persons whose visas are canceled.

Separately, the Australian Border Force on Saturday evening mentioned that two other individuals linked to the tennis event whom it experienced been investigating experienced remaining the country.

“The Australian Border Power (ABF) investigation into the visa standing of two other individuals connected to the Australian Open up has concluded,” it stated in an emailed statement. “The ABF can affirm both equally individuals have now voluntarily departed Australia.”

The assertion did not recognize the two men and women, but local news media experienced documented the investigations a couple days previously.

On Friday, the Czech international ministry confirmed in a statement that a Czech participant, Renata Voracova, experienced been positioned in the identical detention as Mr. Djokovic, alongside “with several other tennis gamers.” She experienced “proven noninfectious position in a way that entitles her to take part in the event,” and had previously performed at a warm-up function, the statement explained, but had “decided to give up even more participation in the tournament and leave Australia thanks to the constrained risk of instruction.”

The Australia Broadcasting Company also reported that a European tennis formal less than similar instances experienced remaining the region.

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