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Australian Border Force investigating whether Djokovic lied on registration form

After hours of deliberation and technical problems, an Australian judge on Monday overturned the government’s decision to cancel Novak Djokovic’s visa. and ordered his release.

It’s still unclear whether Djokovic will play at the Australian Open, which starts on January 17, as Australia’s Immigration Minister still has the power to cancel his visa. However, the Serbian tennis star has returned to training and has made it clear that he intends to play.

Here’s a recap of Monday’s events:

What happened: Monday was whether Djokovic could stay in Australia. He had arrived on January 5, only to have his visa canceled and face temporary detention because he did not have a valid medical exemption for the Covid-19 vaccination requirement for all arrivals.

Why: Djokovic felt he could enter the country because he had received a medical exemption from the tournament organizers, which was granted to him on the grounds that he had natural immunity after being infected with Covid-19 in December, argued his defense.

Government legal defense argued that the tennis star failed to provide evidence why he could not be vaccinated against Covid-19, adding that a previous Covid infection did not amount to a valid medical reason for which he could not be vaccinated.

What the judge said: Judge Anthony Kelly appeared to acknowledge Djokovic’s position, saying he was “agitated” by the burden placed on the tennis star. But the final decision to reinstate the visa was due to the fact that Djokovic had not been given sufficient notice of the cancellation of his visa, nor enough time on the part of the government to prepare the documents.

Another controversy: It emerged from Djokovic’s affidavit that he knew he had tested positive for Covid-19 on the same day he was photographed at three events, where none of the other participants were masked. The next day he was also pictured at a youth awards ceremony.

Beyond tennis: Djokovic’s situation runs much deeper than a refused visa. His dispute coincides with a sharp rise in Covid-19 cases in Australia, which are approaching a pandemic total of 1 million. For many Australians, memories of painful border closures and other Covid restrictions remain fresh.

It also shed light on the plight of asylum seekers in Australia – with dozens of refugees being held in the same detention hotel where Djokovic stayed, who have been locked up for years and risk indefinite detention under the country’s strict immigration rules.


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