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Novak Djokovic blames agent for Australian paperwork ‘mistake’ and admits not isolating after positive Covid result | Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic has blamed his agent for an “administrative mistake” when declaring he had not travelled within the two weeks earlier than his flight to Australia and acknowledged an “error of judgment” by not isolating after he examined positive for Covid.

The world No 1 launched an announcement on Wednesday in a bid to handle what he known as “persevering with misinformation” about his actions in December earlier than he got here to Australia in a bid to retain his Australian Open crown.

However Djokovic’s assertion, posted to Instagram, did not tackle reviews by Der Spiegel claiming obvious anomalies along with his 16 December PCR take a look at result. The reporting has raised questions in regards to the positive Covid analysis that varieties the idea of his exemption to journey to Australia.

Wednesday’s assertion claims he wasn’t notified of his positive result till 17 December regardless of Djokovic’s affidavit to the federal circuit court docket that he was each “examined and identified” on 16 December.

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Australia’s immigration minister, Alex Hawke, has confirmed he’s nonetheless contemplating re-cancelling Djokovic’s visa, citing “prolonged additional submissions and supporting documentation” from the participant’s attorneys as the reason for delay.

Djokovic had his visa restored by the federal circuit court docket on Monday however his potential to remain in Australia was put doubtful by the ministerial assessment.

On Tuesday, it was revealed the Australian Border Drive was investigating his pre-flight declaration after photos emerged suggesting he was in Belgrade lower than two weeks earlier than his flight from Spain to Australia on 4 January.

Djokovic Instagram
Assertion launched by Novak Djokovic concerning his positive Covid take a look at and Australian journey declaration. {Photograph}: Novak Djokovic/Instagram

On Wednesday, Djokovic stated he wished to appropriate “misinformation … within the curiosity of assuaging broader concern in the neighborhood about my presence in Australia”.

“I need to emphasise that I’ve tried very exhausting to make sure the protection of everybody and my compliance with testing obligations,” he stated.

“I attended a basketball sport in Belgrade on 14 December after which it was reported that a variety of individuals examined positive with Covid-19.

“Regardless of having no Covid signs, I took a speedy antigen take a look at on 16 December which was unfavorable, and out of an abundance of warning, additionally took an official and authorised PCR take a look at on that very same day.”

Djokovic stated on 17 December he attended a tennis occasion in Belgrade to current awards to kids, after testing unfavorable once more on a speedy take a look at. “I used to be asymptomatic and felt good, and I had not acquired the notification of a positive PCR take a look at result till after that occasion.”

Djokovic stated after receiving the positive result he nonetheless attended his tennis centre in Belgrade on 18 December to uphold a “longstanding dedication for a L’Equipe interview” as a result of he “felt obliged” to and “didn’t need to let the journalist down”. Djokovic says he socially distanced and wore a masks besides whereas photographs had been taken.

“Whereas I went house after the interview to isolate for the required interval, on reflection, this was an error of judgment and I settle for that I ought to have rescheduled this dedication.”

Djokovic stated the inaccurate pre-travel declaration of 1 January was “submitted by my help group on my behalf”.

“My agent sincerely apologises for the executive mistake in ticking the inaccurate field about my earlier journey earlier than coming to Australia. This was a human error and actually not deliberate.”

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Djokovic stated he has “offered extra info to the Australian authorities to make clear this matter” however would not be making additional remark “out of the utmost respect for the Australian authorities and their authorities and present course of”.

Djokovic did not tackle the Der Spiegel report which claimed the QR code for his 16 December PCR take a look at confirmed a unfavorable result once they scanned it earlier this week earlier than subsequently giving a positive result.

It additionally claimed to have uncovered anomalies between the paper model of the PCR take a look at result proven to be positive and the digital model of it as introduced by the tennis participant’s attorneys.

The paper model reportedly means that the alleged positive take a look at result is not from 16 December however – in accordance with the time stamped on it – from 26 December. Spiegel acknowledged the timestamp might additionally replicate when the result was downloaded by the examined individual.

In keeping with findings by the IT analysis group Zerforschung, and shared with Spiegel, the positive take a look at from 16 December had the Serb testing system quantity 7371999. Djokovic’s unfavorable take a look at result, carried out on 22 December, reportedly had an identification quantity that was about 50,000 positions decrease.

The Zerforschung researchers have advised Spiegel they’ve affirmation that the take a look at ID numbers rise, moderately than fall, elevating questions that the take a look at allegedly from 22 December was carried out previous to the take a look at allegedly from 16 December.

Novak Djokovic practises in Melbourne with Australian Open place in doubt – video
Novak Djokovic practises in Melbourne with Australian Open place doubtful – video

Spiegel put inquiries to each Djokovic and Serbian well being authorities however by Tuesday night had but to obtain a response. The Guardian has additionally contacted Djokovic for remark.

A spokesperson for the Australian immigration minister, Alex Hawke, stated he was nonetheless contemplating use of his private energy to cancel Djokovic’s visa.

“Mr Djokovic’s attorneys have just lately offered prolonged additional submissions and supporting documentation stated to be related to the potential cancellation of Mr Djokovic’s visa,” he stated on Wednesday. “Naturally, this may have an effect on the timeframe for a choice.”

Across the identical time that Djokovic’s assertion was launched, the world No 1 continued his match preparations by holding his first open coaching session on Rod Laver Area with Tristan Schoolkate, a younger Australian participant.

Djokovic’s first two practices since his launch from detention had been held in non-public with the doorways of Rod Laver Area locked and the court docket’s reside feed turned off on Tuesday.

Extra reporting Tumaini Carayol

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