Novak Djokovic was infected with Covid just over TWO WEEKS before he flew to Australia – and star DID have a vaccine exemption to enter country, court documents reveal
- Djokovic had contracted Covid on December 16 before travelling to Australia
Tennis world No.1 Novak Djokovic tested positive for Covid-19 on December 16 and his recovery from the infection was the basis for his medical exemption to play at the Australian Open, his lawyers said in a court filing on Saturday.
The filing said the 34-year-old was not experiencing symptoms and had written clearance from Australia’s immigration department before travelling to the country with a medical exemption from its vaccination rules.
Djokovic, who is in immigration detention in Melbourne after his visa was cancelled on arrival on Thursday, returned his first positive coronavirus test last month.
Fourteen days later he ‘had not had a fever or respiratory symptoms of Covid-19 in the last 72 hours’, the filing said.
Tennis world No.1 Novak Djokovic was relying on contracting Covid on December 16 to enter Australia, his lawyers said in a court filing on Saturday
On Jan. 1, the Serbian sports star received a ‘a document from the Department of Home Affairs (which) told Djokovic that his ‘responses indicate(d) that (he met) the requirements for a quarantine-free arrival into Australia’, the documents added.
Djokovic, an outspoken critic of mandatory vaccination, has never disclosed his own vaccination status.
He is challenging his visa cancellation in Australia’s federal court in hopes of winning his 21st Grand Slam at the Australian Open which starts on January 17.
His case will be heard in court on Monday.
It comes after Djokovic demanded he receive a personal chef and have access to a tennis court while staying in his Melbourne hotel, which is used to house refugees.
Australian Border Force officials have rejected his demands with the world No.1 told he will receive no special treatment at Carlton’s Park Hotel.
Djokovic had requested a personal chef so he could maintain his very strict diet as the tennis pro lives with an intolerance to gluten.
The 34-year-old had also asked to be transferred to a rented apartment with a tennis court so he could train and remain in top shape ahead of the Australian Open.
Djokovic even offered to pay for private guards in the hopes he could make the move.
But Australian Border Force have rejected all of his requests and insisted he will remain at the hotel until a court rules on his deportation on Monday.
Djokovic has been forced to tough it out alongside 32 other refugees and asylum seekers who have previously complained about poor living conditions at the hotel that has been dubbed the ‘Alternative Place of Detention’.
Novak Djokovic requested a personal chef and access to a tennis court while staying in a Melbourne hotel before his demands were rejected by Australian Border Force
The World No. 1 has been told he will receive no special treatment as he remains in immigration custody at the $109-a-night Park Hotel in Carlton
Djokovic has been forced to tough it out alongside 32 other refugees and asylum seekers who have previously complained about poor living conditions at the hotel that has been dubbed the ‘Alternative Place of Detention’
Maggot-riddled food, mouldy bread, fires, Covid outbreaks and bugs in rooms are among the complaints made by some of the guests.
His detainment at the hotel has sparked rallies in Melbourne and Belgrade with the Serbian government claiming the conditions are not ‘befitting’ to the best sportsman while Djokovic’s family have accused the Australian government of treating their son like a ‘prisoner’.
The site been used as a government detention hotel since December 2020, with staff and guests previously slamming it as an ‘incubator’ for Covid.
The anti-vaxx Djokovic, who has refused to reveal how many, if any, Covid jabs he has received, will have to remain in his room where the windows are sealed shut and air is circulated by air conditioners.
More to come