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Djokovic Examined Constructive for Coronavirus in December, His Attorneys Say

MELBOURNE, Australia — In a court docket submitting on Saturday, legal professionals for Novak Djokovic mentioned the tennis star had examined optimistic for the coronavirus in mid-December, and that the Australian authorities had erred this week in canceling his visa over a vaccine requirement.

Mr. Djokovic, who hopes to defend his males’s singles title on the Australian Open this month, was denied permission to enter the country on Thursday after arriving at a Melbourne airport. The border authorities mentioned they canceled his visa as a result of he had not supplied proof to justify being exempted from Australia’s requirement that arrivals be vaccinated towards the coronavirus.

In the filing on Saturday, Mr. Djokovic’s legal professionals mentioned he had been granted a vaccine exemption by Tennis Australia due to a optimistic Dec. 16 coronavirus check end result, and since 14 days later, he had not had a fever or respiratory signs in 72 hours.

The situations of the exemption have been according to the suggestions of Australia’s immunization advisory physique, the legal professionals argued. Given these circumstances, amongst others, “Mr. Djokovic understood that he was entitled to enter Australia,” the submitting learn.

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

He announced in June 2020 that he and his spouse had examined optimistic for the coronavirus, however 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 basically” misconstrued or misapplied recommendation from Australia’s immunization advisory physique about whether or not a coronavirus an infection inside the previous six months ought to exempt him from the vaccination requirement.

The submitting additionally claims that Mr. Djokovic was denied procedural equity after arriving in Australia, when he was held on the airport by the immigration authorities from about midnight to eight a.m.

His legal professionals say Mr. Djokovic was initially informed by immigration officers {that a} choice about his visa wouldn’t be made till after 8:30 a.m., after he had an opportunity to talk to Tennis Australia officers. However round 6 a.m., they are saying, he was pressured to consent to a right away choice. He relented, “feeling he had no selection,” and was notified at 7:42 a.m. that his visa had been canceled, in response to the submitting.

The Australian Border Power declined to touch upon the submitting, citing the pending court docket listening to. Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said that the revocation of Mr. Djokovic’s visa was “merely a matter of following the principles.”

If Mr. Djokovic’s enchantment fails, he could possibly be barred from entering Australia for three years, underneath guidelines relevant to folks whose visas are canceled.

Individually, the Australian Border Power on Saturday evening mentioned that two others linked to the tennis event whom it had been investigating had left the nation.

“The Australian Border Power (ABF) investigation into the visa standing of two different people related to the Australian Open has concluded,” it mentioned in an emailed assertion. “The ABF can affirm each people have now voluntarily departed Australia.”

The assertion didn’t establish the 2 people, however local news media had reported the investigations just a few days earlier.

On Friday, the Czech overseas ministry confirmed in an announcement {that a} Czech participant, Renata Voracova, had been placed in the same detention as Mr. Djokovic, alongside “with a number of different tennis gamers.” She had “confirmed noninfectious standing in a approach that entitles her to take part within the event,” and had already performed at a warm-up occasion, the assertion mentioned, however had “determined to surrender additional participation within the event and depart Australia as a result of restricted chance of coaching.”

The Australia Broadcasting Company additionally reported that a European tennis official underneath related circumstances had left the nation.

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