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Novak Djokovic Has His Visa Revoked Again in Australia


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Credit…Diego Fedele/EPA, by way of Shutterstock

Novak Djokovic, the Serbian tennis star, had his visa revoked for a second time by the Australian authorities on Friday, 4 days after profitable a authorized victory liberating him from immigration detention, including one other dizzying volley in a drawn-out drama over his refusal to be vaccinated for Covid-19.

Australia’s immigration minister, Alex Hawke, mentioned in a press release that he was canceling Djokovic’s visa on the grounds of “health and good order,” including that it was within the public curiosity to take action.

He supplied no additional particulars about his choice to revoke the visa, apart from to say that the Australian authorities was dedicated to defending the nation’s borders through the pandemic.

It was unclear what would occur subsequent, with the beginning of the Australian Open three days away. Djokovic may return to court docket to hunt to have the choice overturned, however authorized specialists mentioned he might have little likelihood of success, after profitable his first spherical in court docket on slender procedural grounds.

A federal investigation led by Hawke had revealed that Djokovic supplied false info on the paperwork he gave to frame officers when he tried to enter the nation final week.

Those paperwork didn’t state that Djokovic, who lives in Monte Carlo, had traveled between Serbia and Spain through the 14 days forward of his arrival in Australia.

In a submit on social media on Wednesday, Djokovic acknowledged the misstatements and addressed questions on his actions within the days earlier than and after his constructive take a look at for the coronavirus on Dec. 16. That take a look at end result allowed him to achieve an exemption from state well being officers in Victoria to play within the Australian Open.

Djokovic’s assertion learn as each a determined request for leniency and a proof for irresponsible conduct by a star athlete unaccustomed to being held accountable. He mentioned {that a} member of his help workforce had made a “human error” when filling out his paperwork. He additionally mentioned he had made a poor choice to undergo with an in-person interview and picture shoot with a French sports activities publication after testing constructive for the coronavirus.

Franck Ramella, a reporter with the French sports activities newspaper L’Equipe, wrote this week that when he carried out the interview on Dec. 18, he didn’t know that Djokovic had only in the near past examined constructive for the coronavirus.

Credit…Lukas Coch/EPA, by way of Shutterstock

Djokovic mentioned he was not but conscious that he had examined constructive when he attended a tennis occasion on Dec. 17 in Belgrade, the Serbian capital, the place he introduced awards to kids. But the document of his constructive take a look at exhibits that he took the take a look at at 1:05 p.m. on Dec. 16 and obtained the constructive end result seven hours later.

“I just want to have the opportunity to compete against the best players in the world and perform before one of the best crowds in the world,” Djokovic mentioned within the submit.

Earlier this week, it appeared that Djokovic would have the ability to do this, although he would almost certainly be the one unvaccinated participant within the males’s match. On Thursday, he was put in because the No. 1 seed within the males’s bracket.

On Monday afternoon, a decide discovered that Djokovic had been handled unfairly upon his arrival late on Jan. 5 at a Melbourne airport, the place he was questioned for hours and denied a promised likelihood to contact his legal professionals or Australian Open officers.

The decide ordered that Djokovic’s visa be restored, liberating him from the lodge for refugees and asylum seekers the place he had been held for 5 days and clearing a path for him to compete for a document twenty first Grand Slam match title.

Credit…Loren Elliott/Reuters

Australian tennis officers had granted Djokovic the vaccination exemption, in session with state officers, to play within the match, which begins on Monday in Melbourne. But border officers canceled his visa with the help of Prime Minister Scott Morrison, saying that Djokovic remained topic to a requirement that everybody getting into the nation be absolutely vaccinated.

The court docket ruling didn’t put an finish to the case, however slightly shifted its focus to Djokovic’s supporting paperwork, the legitimacy of his coronavirus take a look at and fundamental questions on what Djokovic knew about his analysis and when he knew it.

Legally, Hawke, the immigration minister, can cancel a visa on character grounds or if he finds data to be false, or if he believes the visa’s recipient poses a well being or security danger. Hawke made his choice as Australia is within the midst of its worst bout with the coronavirus.

By shifting to revoke Djokovic’s visa a second time, the Morrison authorities confirmed that it seen his expulsion as a nationwide precedence, well worth the danger of worldwide criticism for what’s going to look to some like political opportunism earlier than an election and a refusal to just accept a authorized defeat.

Mike Ives contributed reporting.



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