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Andy Murray Slams Novak Djokovic Detention In Australia

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Andy Murray Slams Novak Djokovic Detention In Australia

Andy Murray has criticised the detention of Novak Djokovic ahead of the Australian Open.

Djokovic has been held in Melbourne's Park Hotel - which is used to house asylum seekers and refugees - since Thursday (6 January), having found himself embroiled in a row over whether he is exempt from Australia's Covid-19 vaccination rules.

The nine-time Australian Open winner, who has previously said he is opposed to vaccination, must wait for a hearing on Monday (10 January) to discover his fate.

Former British number one Murray - who will play at the tournament, which starts on 17 January - has expressed concern for the Serbian and said his predicament is 'really not good for tennis at all'.

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Murray has condemned Djokovic's treatment. Credit: Alamy
Murray has condemned Djokovic's treatment. Credit: Alamy

"I think everyone is shocked by it, to be honest," five-time Australian Open finalist Murray told reporters in Australia.

"I'm going to say two things on it just now. The first thing is that I hope that Novak is OK. I know him well, and I've always had a good relationship with him and I hope that he's OK.

"The second thing, it's really not good for tennis at all, and I don't think it's good for anyone involved. I think it's really bad."

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This view was echoed by Aussie tennis player Nick Kyrgios, who has been an outspoken critic of Djokovic in the past.

Taking to Twitter, he wrote: "Look I definitely believe in taking action, I got vaccinated because of others and for my mum's health, but how we are handling Novak's situation is bad, really bad.

"Like these memes, headlines, this is one of our great champions but at the end of the day, he is human. Do better."

Djokovic's lawyers have said that he was granted a vaccine exemption to enter Australia because he contracted Covid-19 last month.

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Djokovic will find out his fate in a hearing on Monday. Credit: Alamy
Djokovic will find out his fate in a hearing on Monday. Credit: Alamy

In court documents published yesterday (Saturday 8 January), it is stated that the 34-year-old recorded a positive test on 16 December, and has 'not had a fever or respiratory symptoms of Covid-19 in the last 72 hours'.

According to his legal team, Djokovic was also provided with a letter from the Chief Medical Officer of Tennis Australia recording he had a medical exemption from Covid vaccination.

It is claimed that the exemption certificate was 'provided by an Independent Expert Medical Review panel commissioned by Tennis Australia', and that 'the decision of that panel had been reviewed and endorsed by an independent Medical Exemptions Review Panel of the Victorian State Government'.

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Writing on Instagram, Djokovic said: "Thank you to people around the world for your continuous support. I can feel it and it is greatly appreciated."

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Sport, Coronavirus, Australia

Jake Massey
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