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Novak Djokovic Clarifies Timeline of Positive COVID-19 Test, Apologizes for Australia Travel Form Error

Novak Djokovic Clarifies Timeline of Positive COVID-19 Test, Apologizes for Australia Travel Form Error

Novak Djokovic is clarifying the timeline of his positive COVID-19 test results.

On Tuesday (January 11), the 34-year-old tennis pro shared a statement to address “the continuing misinformation” about his movements while positive, while also apologizing for the errors on the travel documents he filled out in order to enter Australia.

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“I want to address the continuing misinformation about my activities and attendance at events in December in the lead up to my positive PCR COVID test result,” Novak shared on Instagram. “This is misinformation which needs to be corrected, particularly in the interest of alleviating broader concern in the community about my presence in Australia, and to address matters which are very hurtful and concerning to my family.”

“I want to emphasis that I have tried very hard to ensure the safety of everyone and my compliance with testing obligations,” Novak continued.

Novak then went on to clarifying his movements as he awaited the test results of his PCR COVID test.

“I attended a basketball game in Belgrade on 14 December after which it was reported that a number of people tested positive for COVID 19,” Novak explained. “Despite having no COVID symptons, I took a rapid antigen test on 16 December which was negative, and out of an abundance of caution, also took an official and approved PCR test on that same day.”

He continued, “The next day I attended a tennis event in Belgrade to present awards to children and took a rapid antigen test before going to the event, and it was negative. I was asymptomatic and felt good, and I had not received the notification of a positive PCR test result until after that event.”

“The next day, on 18 December I was at my tennis centre in Belgrade to fulfil [sic] a long-standing commitment for a L’Equipe interview and photoshoot. I cancelled all other events except for the L’Equipe interview,” Novak explained. “I felt obliged to go ahead and conduct the L’Equipe interview as I didn’t want to let the journalist down, abut did ensure I socially distanced and wore a mask except when my photograph was being taken.”

Novak then apologized for not immediately going into isolation after receiving his positive results.

“While I went home after the interview to isolate for the required period, on reflection, this was an error of judgement and I accept that I should have rescheduled this commitment,” Novak wrote.

Novak then addressed the the travel documents he filled out in order to gain entry into Australia for the 2022 Australian Open. If you didn’t know, Novak was granted an exemption to the COVID-19 vaccine requirement to play at the tennis event, however, the visa he requested did not include any medical exemptions. He was then detained at an immigration facility until a judge overruled the canceled visa.

“On the issue of my travel declaration, this was submitted by my support team on my behalf – as I told immigration officials on my arrival – and my agent sincerely apologises for the administrative mistake in ticking the incorrect box about my previous travel before coming to Australia,” Novak wrote. “This was a human error and certainly not deliberate. We are living in challenging times in a global pandemic and sometimes these mistakes can occur. Today, my team has provided additional information to the Australian Government to clarify this matter.”

Novak concluded his message by saying that this will be the only comments he will be making about the matter.

“While I felt it was important to address and clarify misinformation I will not be making any further comment out of utmost respect for the Australian Government and their authorities and the current process,” he wrote.

“It is always an honour and a privilege to play in the Australian Open,” Novak concluded. “The Australian Open is much-loved by players, fans and the community, not just in Victoria and in Australia, but around the globe, and I just want to have the opportunity to compete against the best players in the world and perform before one of the best crowds in the world.”

While the 2022 Australian Open begins on Monday, January 17, it is still unclear if Novak Djokovic will be able to compete.

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Photos: Getty Images
Posted to: Novak Djokovic

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