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Novak Djokovic's Visa Cancelled Again Ahead Of Australian Open

Stewart Perrie

Published 
| Last updated 

Novak Djokovic's Visa Cancelled Again Ahead Of Australian Open

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Novak Djokovic's visa has been cancelled again.

Australia's immigration minister Alex Hawke has made the decision to personally cancel the athlete's visa, meaning he will likely be deported, with a legal action his only hope of participating in the grand slam.

Hawke said in a statement: "Today I exercised my power under section 133C(3) of the Migration Act to cancel the visa held by Mr Novak Djokovic on health and good order grounds, on the basis that it was in the public interest to do so.

"The decision follows orders by the Federal Circuit and Family Court on 10 January 2022, quashing a prior cancellation decision on procedural fairness grounds.

"In making this decision, I carefully considered information provided to me by the Department of Home Affairs, the Australian Border Force and Mr Djokovic.

"The Morrison Government is firmly committed to protecting Australia's borders, particularly in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

"I thank the officers of the Department of Home Affairs and the Australian Border Force who work every day to serve Australia's interests in increasingly challenging operational environments."

Djokovic was detained when he landed in Melbourne last week and Australian Border Force officials interrogated him for hours.

They eventually cancelled his visa because they didn't believe he had enough evidence to support a medical exemption not to be vaccinated against Covid-19.

His legal team launched an appeal and told the Melbourne Federal Circuit Court that he had tested positive in mid-December last year. They believed the anti-bodies would be enough protection against the virus.

They also argued that he had done everything Tennis Australia and the Victorian government had asked in order to come to Australia to play in the Grand Slam.

The federal court approved and Judge Kelly overturned his visa cancellation. He was free to leave his quarantine hotel and begin training for the Australian Open.

However, Djokovic revealed on Wednesday (January 12) that he had broken the rules last year after testing positive for Covid-19.

While he claims he didn't know he was infectious on December 16 and 17, he admitted to attending an interview on December 18 while being knowingly positive with the virus.

He said he didn't want to let the journalist down but has now apologised for the decision to go ahead with the interview.

The Serbian tennis star also touched on his travel declaration form that was filled out by his agent when he arrived in Australia.

His team ticked the box that said he hadn't travelled anywhere in the 14 days prior to his arrival in Australia, however that was found to be false as he was in two countries within that time frame.

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

Djokovic said that was a genuine 'human error' and certainly not an instance of being deliberately misleading.

Hawke said earlier this week that his department was looking into the new claims.

"Mr Djokovic's lawyers have recently provided lengthy further submissions and supporting documentation said to be relevant to the possible cancellation of Mr Djokovic's visa," a spokesman for Mr Hawke said.

"Naturally, this will affect the timeframe for a decision."

Topics: News, Novak Djokovic, Australia

Stewart Perrie
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