The juicy scandal involving the world’s top tennis player Novak Djokovic, a 34-year-old Serb, is gaining momentum. He won a lawsuit against Australian authorities. Djokovic is now accused of entering Spain illegally in December. Meanwhile, the Australian Open draw will be held today.
It all started with Djokovic’s refusal to be vaccinated. After protracted negotiations with the organizers of the season's first Grand Slam tournament, he received medical clearance from the organizers to come to Australia. However, upon arrival in Melbourne, the border guard detained him at the airport, stating that his medical documents raised suspicions. As a result, Djokovic's visa was canceled and he was quarantined to a special hotel for migrants, where he had to stay for several days waiting for the authorities’ decision.
Djokovic's lawyers filed an appeal. A court hearing was held on January 10. As a result, the Serbian tennis player was acquitted. Judge Anthony Kelly called for Djokovic's release within half an hour and stated that the decision to cancel the visa had been overturned. The court also ordered the Australian authorities to reimburse all financial expenses of the tennis player.
Stating the reasons, the court said that Djokovic did not have enough time to provide all the necessary documents for staying in Australia. His mother said at a special press conference that her son had won the most important victory in his life.
However, the Australian Minister of Immigration and Citizenship Alex Hawke is considering the possibility of deporting Djokovic from the country for knowingly providing false information upon entry. This is a very serious criminal offense. The perpetrator could face up to 12 months in prison.
Djokovic said during the interrogation that his entry documents had been prepared by Tennis Australia representatives.
It was the rash decision of the tournament organizers and the Vitoria state authorities that started this mess. They allowed Djokovic to compete based on a vaccine exemption, which Djokovic received after he presented the information that he had been exposed to the virus in December. As it turned out, this was not considered sufficient grounds for entry into Australia. Simply the organizers of the Australian Open met Djokovic half way and now he has shifted the responsibility to them.
The court-amnestied the 20-time Grand Slam winner began training behind closed doors. A local TV channel showed a video of his workout, shot by a drone.
Here is a new twist in the Djokovic story. He was in Spain in late December for the final stage of training for the season. It turned out that the Ministry of Health of that country allows Serbian citizens to enter only if they have a complete certificate of vaccination, or after special permission. Djokovic had neither. Now, the Spanish government began to investigate the legitimacy of the famous tennis player’s entry.
The tennis community had different reactions to this drama. For example, six-time Grand Slam winner Boris Becker of Germany criticized Djokovic's parents for some harsh remarks about their son's case. Others consider this overblown story shameful.