Tennis: Novak Djokovic lawyers say he had Covid-19 in Dec

Australian border agents tore up Djokovic's visa over his vaccination status and placed him in a Melbourne detention centre

Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP


Published: Sat 8 Jan 2022, 11:43 AM

Last updated: Sat 8 Jan 2022, 11:56 AM

Tennis superstar Novak Djokovic won a Covid-19 vaccine exemption because he was infected with the virus in December, his lawyers said in a court filing Saturday.

“The date of the first positive Covid PCR test was recorded on 16 December 2021,” they said in a filing to the federal court seeking to overturn the cancellation of his Australian entry visa.

Tennis Australia has been accused of misleading players in a memo, which advised them that a recent Covid-19 infection was grounds for a temporary medical exemption from vaccination.

But Australia’s government said that advice was only valid for Australian residents, not for foreign nationals trying to enter the country.

It added that the health minister warned Tennis Australia of this in November.

Foreigners are still mostly banned from travel to Australia, and those granted entry must be fully vaccinated or have a medical exemption.


Djokovic boasted before flying in that he had been given a Covid-19 vaccination exemption, widely believed to be on the grounds that he was recently infected with the virus.

Djokovic, an outspoken vaccine sceptic, thanked fans for their support on Instagram.

“Thank you to people around the world for your continuous support. I can feel it and it is greatly appreciated,” the 34-year-old nine-time Australian Open champion said.

More than 100 fans and anti-vaccine protesters, who were banging drums and chanting “Novak”, rallied in the drizzle outside the Melbourne immigration holding facility on Saturday.

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