Novak Djokovic breaks silence and admits mistakes

In the Corona thriller about his entry to Australia, Novak Djokovic denied intentional misrepresentations and the endangerment of other people.

However, the tennis star admitted that he made mistakes in dealing with his positive test result. According to a media report, a decision as to whether the world number one can stay in Australia after the turbulence that has been noticed around the world will not be made before Thursday.

In a first detailed statement via Instagram on Wednesday, the 34-year-old Serb defended himself against two allegations in particular: he neither intentionally gave false information about his travel behavior in the 14 days before the flight to the host country of the Australian Open, which begins next week, nor knowing that he had tested positive for the corona virus, he attended an event with children in December and moved there without a mask.

According to a report by the Australian news agency “AAP”, new information from Djokovic’s lawyers has postponed the time frame, said the office of Australian Immigration Minister Alex Hawke.

Other documents were submitted that could prove relevant to a possible cancellation of Djokovic’s visa. “Of course, that will affect the time frame for a decision,” it said.

Novak Djokovic speaks of “misinformation”

Djokovic previously described “misinformation” that needs to be corrected as “hurting and upsetting to my family”. He wanted to point out that he was very concerned about the safety of others and compliance with test requirements. It was important for him to clarify all of this, but out of respect for the Australian government he would not comment further on the events.

However, the Serb also admitted that he already knew about his positive test result in an interview with the French sports newspaper “L’Equipe” on December 18 and still did not cancel the appointment. He just kept his distance and only took off his mask for the photographer. “Although I went home after the interview and went into isolation for the prescribed period, on reflection that was a miscalculation and I recognize that I should have postponed that commitment,” he wrote.

Djokovic was refused entry to Australia at Melbourne airport last week because he was not vaccinated against the corona virus and the authorities did not have sufficient documentation of his medical exemption. However, because the border officials had not given him the agreed time for clarification, the decision was overturned in court on Monday. The Australian Immigration Minister has since reserved the right to exercise his personal right and still invalidate Djokovic’s visa.

Djokovic’s lawyers provided more information and documents on the matter, the tennis pro and a spokesman for Minister Hawke said. The fact that his entry form incorrectly stated that he had not traveled in the 14 days before his flight to Australia was described by Djokovic as a “human error” on the part of his agent, “which was certainly not intentional”.

Without a mask at a children’s event

At the event with children, where he appeared without a mask on December 17th and according to previous information in the court documents one day after “test and diagnosis”, he did not yet know anything about the positive result. On December 16, he had a negative antigen test and, out of sheer caution, also a PCR test. “I had no symptoms and felt fine and I only received the news of the positive PCR test after the event,” Djokovic wrote.

However, there are reports of possible new inconsistencies related to this test. “Der Spiegel” writes that the PCR test presented by Djokovic’s lawyers was dated later in a Serbian database and was not from December 16th.

From the point of view of Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic, Djokovic’s behavior after a positive raises questions about possible violations of the law. “There is a certain gray area, and only Novak can give answers in this regard,” said the politician to the British television channel “BBC”. She herself could neither know nor judge whether Djokovic knew about his positive result when he presented himself at the event without a distance and mask the day after the test.


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