Australian government lawyer says Novak Djokovic not guaranteed entry tennis news

The government’s court filing has challenged the tennis star’s claims that he can enter Australia with confidence and is exempt from the COVID vaccine requirement.

The Australian government has hit back hard at claims made by tennis player Novak Djokovic that he could be medically exempted from the coronavirus vaccine requirement, arguing in court documents that no foreigner has the right to Enter Australia.

“There is no guarantee of entry to Australia for non-citizens. Instead, there are criteria and conditions for entry, and reasons for refusal or cancellation of visas,” the government said in a filing on Sunday, ahead of a court hearing in the case on Monday.

Djokovic No. 1 in the world for men, looking to win his 21st Grand Slam at the Australian Open, which begins in Melbourne on January 17. However, instead of training, the Serbian player was confined to a hotel serving asylum seekers and is challenging the decision to cancel his visa. He was stopped at Melbourne Airport early on Thursday.

The Serb, a fierce opponent of the mandate of a COVID-19 vaccine, said in a court filing on Saturday that he was exempted from the vaccination because he tested positive for COVID-19 in December.

His lawyer said he had necessary permissions Entry into Australia, including the Department of Home Affairs’ assessment that a response on his travel declaration indicated that he was eligible for quarantine-free arrival. The government disputes this.

It said the department’s emails did not guarantee “what he called”Medical Waiver‘ will be accepted,” and his answers may be questioned and verified upon his arrival.

The government also questioned Djokovic’s request for a medical exemption on the grounds that he contracted COVID-19 in mid-December and recovered two weeks later.

“There is no indication that the applicant had an ‘acute critical illness’ in December 2021. All he said was that he tested positive for COVID-19. This is not the same,” the document said.

French newspaper L’Equipe said in court documents that he published a photo of the player being named the Daily Champion in the days after he tested positive for the coronavirus on Dec. 16. Other photos posted on social media showed him at an event in Serbia on a date shortly after that test.

It is unclear whether Djokovic was aware of his positive test at the time of the incident shown in the picture.

The drama of Djokovic, 34, who has won the Australian Open nine times and his refusal to play, caused uproar in the sports world, sparked tensions between Serbia and Australia and became a flashpoint against vaccine mandates around the world. .

He also holds 20 Grand Slam singles titles, a men’s record he shares with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

Djokovic’s lawyers will have up to two hours to present their case from 10am on Monday (23:00GMT on Sunday), while the government department will present their case from 3pm (GMT). Time 04:00) there will be two hours for the defense. The case is pending in the Federal Circuit and Family Court.


Government documents stress that even if a court rules to release Djokovic and put him in the Australian Open, the government has every right under Australian law to detain him again and deport him because he is a non-citizen.

That drew particular anger from Djokovic’s father, who on Sunday delivered another small protest in front of the Serbian parliament building in Belgrade, where hundreds of fans have been protesting, claiming their vaccine-skeptical icon been treated unfairly.

“Politicians are now saying that even if the court decides he can play, they can detain him again under their laws,” Srjan Djokovic said.

“Are we animals? What are we? We are human. This happens because we’re only a small part of the world, but we’re proud. They don’t respect him.”

Djokovic’s brother Djoerjee told demonstrators he hoped to see him on the tennis court soon.

Australia said its health department notified tournament organiser Tennis Australia in November that recent COVID-19 infections were not necessarily a reason for the country’s exemption, as it has elsewhere.

However, Djokovic’s lawsuit alleges that the interior ministry wrote to him this month saying he had met the requirements to enter the country.

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