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Did Djokovic make false claims in traveller form? Australian Border Force investigates

🔴 Public opinion in Australia, which is battling an Omicron wave of infections and where more than 90% of the adult population is double vaccinated, has been largely against Dkjokovic.

By: Express Web Desk | Melbourne |
Updated: January 11, 2022 3:15:36 pm
Defending champion Serbia's Novak Djokovic, left, talks with a teammate during a practice session in the Rod Laver Arena ahead of the Australian Open at Melbourne Park in Melbourne, Australia on Jan 11, 2022. (AP)

Tennis player Novak Djokovic, who is in the middle of a medical exemption controversy in Australia, is currently being investigated to determine whether he provided incorrect information in his traveller form. The investigation, which has not been officially confirmed, is the latest in a week-long drama following the player’s airport detention on last Wednesday.

According to the Reuters, some Australian media reported that Australian Border Force was investigating potential discrepancies in the traveller form submitted by Djokovic and his whereabouts in the days before he arrived in Australia. In the document submitted to court Djokovic ticked “no” when asked he had been overseas in the 14 days prior.

Social media posts, however, appeared to show him in Belgrade on Christmas Day and in Spain on Dec. 31.

Djokovic was detained by Australian border officials last week when he landed at Melbourne’s airport late on Wednesday. His visa was cancelled because he failed to provide appropriate evidence to meet the entry requirements to Australia, border officials said.

However, in quashing that decision, Judge Anthony Kelly was critical of the hours-long airport interview and said the player had not been given enough time to contact lawyers and tennis officials to discuss his predicament.

Djokovic had been granted a medical exemption by the Victoria state government based on evidence he contracted Covid-19 last month — the second time he had been infected. The player, who has long opposed mandatory vaccination, confirmed during the interview he was unvaccinated.

The Australian Open begins on Jan 17. Djokovic has won the tournament, one of tennis’ four Grand Slams, for the past three years and nine times in all.

Public opinion in Australia, which is battling an Omicron wave of infections and where more than 90% of the adult population is double vaccinated, has been largely against the player.

Resistance in Melbourne, home of the Open, has been particularly vocal after the city experienced the world’s longest cumulative lockdown. “We’ve had to go through vaccination protocols and lockdowns for such a long time and he swans in and pretty much does what he likes because he’s the world best tennis player,” Melbourne resident Keith Moore told Reuters.

(With inputs from Reuters)

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