Melbourne (AP): Novak Djokovic has moved to clarify how mistakes were made in the immigration document he filed on his arrival in Melbourne last week, before his visa was revoked and then reinstated in a COVID-19 vaccination saga that sparked the days leading up to the Australian Open.
A statement was posted on Djokovic’s social media accounts on Wednesday as the men’s tennis No. 1 held a practice session against Tristan Schoolkate, a 20-year-old Australian, at the Rod Laver Arena.
The nine-time defending Australian Open champion finds himself in limbo before the first major tennis match of the year kicks off next Monday. Djokovic won a legal battle on Monday that will allow him to stay in the country, but he still faces deportation because he has not been vaccinated against COVID-19.
Reports emerged that he had attended events in his native Serbia last month while contagious, and had made mistakes on an immigration form to enter Australia, which could potentially lead to the cancellation of his visa.
On the form, Djokovic said he had not traveled for 14 days before his flight to Australia. The athlete from Monte Carlo was seen in Spain and Serbia during that two-week period.
In a statement on Instagram, Djokovic described the speculation as hurtful and said he wanted to address the ongoing misinformation to allay wider community concerns about my presence in Australia.
Djokovic said he had taken rapid tests that were negative in the days before coming back positive on a test he undertook out of an abundance of caution because he was asymptomatic.
He responded to the travel declaration by saying that it was submitted on his behalf by his support team and my agent sincerely apologizes for the clerical error in checking the wrong box.
“This was human error and certainly not intentional,” he wrote. The team has provided additional information to the Australian government to clarify the matter.
It is questionable whether he has a valid exemption from the rules requiring vaccination to enter Australia since he recently recovered from COVID-19.
The office of immigration secretary Alex Hawke said Djokovic’s legal team had raised further objections to the possible cancellation of his visa. (AP)
US announces $308 million in aid to Afghans as crisis grows