Novak Djokovic Australian Open 2022

Serbian Prime Minister threatens to ‘deal with’ Novak Djokovic but criticises Australia’s handling of situation

Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic said she will “deal with” Novak Djokovic breaking Covid-19 regulations but was “not even sure it was fair” for the Australian Government to publicise Djokovic’s medical documentation.

After months of confusion and doubt, Djokovic revealed he was granted a medical exemption to compete for a record-breaking 21st Grand Slam title at the upcoming Australian Open.

However upon his arrival at the border, his medical exemption was voided and his visa was cancelled. Djokovic took the decision to court, but in doing so the Australian Government made some of his medical documentation public.

As a result, a number of questions were raised when discrepancies were found. On his declaration form Djokovic claimed he had not travelled in the two weeks prior to his arrival, however he had travelled from Serbia to Spain, then Spain to Australia.

There were also discrepancies regarding the dates Djokovic claimed he contracted Covid-19. Djokovic said he tested positive on December 16th but was then pictured at a number of promotional events in the following days, leading many to question the legitimacy of his exemption.

World number one Djokovic released a statement through social media confirming his forms were filled in by an agent and he for “human error.”

Djokovic denied deliberately mixing with children whilst positive, but did admit to doing an interview with L’Equipe knowing he was ill. The 20-time Slam champion regrets this decision and said it was an “error in his judgement.”

Serbian Prime Minister Brnabic said “in this case, [if] it seems as if he was aware of it – then it is a clear violation of the rules and what the sanctions are, it’s what the relevant institutions will have to look into.

“We will have an insight into that information because I think that information is part of the investigation that is currently led by the immigration minister of Australia.

“In the end, they made public a part of Novak’s medical documentation, which I am not even sure was fair on their part to make it public, because it is not fair to make anyone’s medical documentation public, unless they had Novak’s explicit consent for that,” Brnabic fumed.

“I hope that [the] final decision will be announced soon. Uncertainty is not good for any of the stakeholders, neither Djokovic nor the Australian Open.”

“At this time I don’t know when he obtained the results, when he exactly saw it and at what point in time he became aware of testing positive. So there is some grey area [uncertainty].”

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Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.