(January 6, 2022) World No. 1 Novak Djokovic’s status in Australia stands in limbo as has been refused entry into the country. Days ago, the Serbian announced on social media that he was headed to Australia and had been granted a medical exemption from the state of Victoria to play the Australian Open, despite strict vaccination rules. It is not known if Djokovic has or has not had the Covid-19 vaccine.
As of Wednesday, Djokovic has been confined to an immigration detention hotel in Australia as his visa with exemption has been rejected by the Australian Border Force. Djokovic is trying to take legal action to fight his deportation.
Djokovic’s medical exemption was vetted by two independent panels.
Australian Open Tournament Director Craig Tiley defended the exemption process and said it was a “completely legitimate application and process.” He said that the world No. 1 did not get special treatment. Tiley noted that 26 others connected the tournament applied for the exemption but only a “handful” were given.
The Health Minister Greg Hunt said Djokovic’s visa was canceled after border officials reviewed his medical exemption and had questions about “the integrity and the evidence behind it.”
A federal judge will be looking at Djokovic’s case in a hearing on Monday, meanwhile he remains in an immigration detention hotel.
The Australian Open begins on January 17.
More to follow….