Game, set… and match for the Australian authorities? The Australian Immigration Minister canceled Novak Djokovic’s visa on Friday January 14, for the second time in a week. The tennis world number one must be heard by the immigration services on Saturday morning.
While justice wishes to put him back in detention at the end of this hearing and pending a decision, the Serbian player’s lawyers have asked that he be allowed to remain free, three days before the start of the competition.
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Back in 6 acts on the controversy:
A new episode in this soap opera whose twists and turns have followed since the arrival of the tennis player on Australian soil on January 5. He had been held at the airport, then in a detention center for several days, before being finally released after a judge suspended the cancellation of his visa on Monday January 10. According to his lawyers, the player would have obtained an exemption after having tested positive for Covid on December 16.
The date of a PCR test in question
The Australian authorities had nevertheless warned that Novak Djokovic remained deportable, under the discretionary power of the Minister of Immigration. As investigations were carried out, it first emerged that the world number one had incorrectly completed his arrival form on Australian territory, indicating that he had not traveled in the 14 days preceding his entry into the country. However, he was seen training on December 31 in Marbella, Spain.
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Separately, several outlets pointed out that the player attended public events in Belgrade, Serbia, on December 16 and 17, when he was supposed to be in solitary confinement after testing positive. On Instagram, Novak Djokovic then claimed that he had only received the result of his positive PCR on the evening of December 17. A version that contradicts what his lawyers had said before the judge.
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Finally, a last element threw confusion on the version of the Serb. While analyzing the player’s digital PCR test data, German newspaper ‘Der Spiegel’ raised the possibility that the test could have been backdated by the player’s clan. According to German journalists, the test dates from December 26.
It was in this context that the news of the second visa suspension came. The player’s lawyers have appealed.