Friday 1/21/22
TENNIS

Australia investigates whether Djokovic lied to enter the country

On the form, filed on January 1, Djokovic answered "no" to the question: "Have you travelled, or will you travel, in the 14 days prior to your flight to Australia?"

11 January 2022, Australia, Melbourne: Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic (R) takes part in a practice session ahead of the Australian Open at Melbourne Park. The court had yesterday upheld an appeal from Djokovic against the cancellation of his visa in connection with coronavirus rules. Photo: Scott Barbour/TENNIS AUSTRALIA via AAP/dpa.
Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic (R) takes part in a practice session ahead of the Australian Open at Melbourne Park. Photo: Scott Barbour/Tennis Australia.

Questions have emerged over a declaration filed by men's tennis star Novak Djokovic ahead of his current trip to Australia.

On the form, filed on January 1, Djokovic answered "no" to the question: "Have you travelled, or will you travel, in the 14 days prior to your flight to Australia?"

Djokovic flew to Melbourne from Spain on January 4, but had appeared in photos posted to social media by journalist Jose Morgado from Belgrade on Christmas Day.

The document was released by the Federal Circuit Court of Australia on Monday.

The tennis player stated on the form that he had not left his Belgrade residence for 14 days prior to his arrival in Australia on January 5. Now the problem is that it has been discovered that this was not true, because he was training in Marbella (Spain) before leaving for Melbourne.

In an affidavit Djokovic submitted to the court, he said he "authorised" his agent to submit the travel declaration form.

After days of uncertainty regarding the world number one's participation in Melbourne, it was ruled on Monday he should be immediately released from detention.

That came after authorities cancelled his visa last week, despite the 34-year-old Serbian receiving a medical exemption that allowed him to enter the country, regardless of his vaccination status.

Given his application for the exemption, it is assumed that Djokovic is unvaccinated.

Government talks

Meanwhile Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has spoken with his Serbian counterpart, Ana Brnabic, about Novak Djokovic and explained what he termed Australia's "non-discriminatory border policy."

"The PM had a constructive call with PM Brnabic this morning on Novak Djokovic," a statement from the Australian Prime Minister's Office said.

Djokovic's participation at the first grand slam of the new year is not yet 100 per cent known despite Monday's court ruling.

Australia's immigration minister Alex Hawke could still cancel Djokovic's visa on new grounds.

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