MELBOURNE, Australia — Novak Djokovic, the top-ranked males’s tennis participant, acknowledged on Wednesday {that a} journey doc he introduced to Australian border officers final week contained false data, because the nation’s authorities continued to analyze whether or not he needs to be deported.

Mr. Djokovic additionally stated that he had participated in an interview and a photograph shoot final month in his native Serbia even after testing constructive for the coronavirus, in an obvious breach of the nation’s guidelines for contaminated folks. Australian officers have stated they’re trying into whether or not Mr. Djokovic, who’s unvaccinated, poses a danger to public well being.

The tennis star’s feedback got here in a press release he launched on social media that he stated was supposed to “make clear misinformation” in regards to the weeks earlier than he arrived in Melbourne for the Australian Open. He was detained for days by Australian border officers earlier than being ordered launched on Monday by a federal decide.

However Mr. Djokovic’s assertion didn’t absolutely resolve a spread of questions which have swirled over his quest to stay in Australia and search a report twenty first Grand Slam title. Amongst them are precisely when he discovered of the constructive check consequence and the way his journey paperwork got here to falsely assert that he had not traveled internationally within the 14 days earlier than his arrival in Australia.

The assertion posted on Instagram, which Mr. Djokovic stated can be his final remarks about his ordeal in Australia, was launched because the nation’s immigration minister stated he was nonetheless contemplating whether or not to train his private powers to cancel the participant’s visa once more. Immigration officers have been additionally investigating the discrepancies within the paperwork Mr. Djokovic introduced as he tried to enter Australia final week with an exemption from a requirement for Covid-19 vaccinations.

Australian tennis officers granted that exemption on the idea of what Mr. Djokovic had stated was a Covid an infection he had in mid-December. He had come beneath criticism over photos on social media displaying him at occasions on the identical time he was supposedly contaminated with the coronavirus.

Mr. Djokovic stated on Wednesday that he had taken a P.C.R. check on Dec. 16 after some folks at a basketball recreation he had attended two days earlier examined constructive for the coronavirus. Regardless of having no signs, he additionally took a fast antigen check “out of an abundance of warning,” he stated, and it got here again adverse.

On Dec. 17, he stated, as he was awaiting his P.C.R. consequence, he attended a tennis occasion in Belgrade, the Serbian capital, the place he introduced awards to youngsters. He stated that he took one other fast antigen check earlier than attending that occasion, which got here again adverse, and that his P.C.R. check didn’t come again constructive till after it had completed.

On Dec. 18, he went forward with an interview and a photograph shoot with the French sports activities newspaper L’Equipe “to meet a longstanding dedication,” he stated.

“I felt obliged to go forward and conduct the L’Equipe interview as I didn’t wish to let the journalist down, however did guarantee I socially distanced and wore a masks besides when my {photograph} was taken,” Mr. Djokovic stated.

“Whereas I went residence 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,” he added.

It was not the primary time Mr. Djokovic has needed to apologize for dismissive actions he has taken throughout the pandemic. In mid-2020, because the virus raged in Europe and elsewhere, he held a tennis match after which he and a number of other others examined constructive.

Whereas Mr. Djokovic stated in his assertion on Wednesday that he “had not acquired the notification of a constructive PCR consequence” till Dec. 17 — after the occasion involving youngsters — paperwork he offered to Australian officers as he tried to enter the nation stated that the consequence had been returned the day earlier than.

A duplicate of his medical certificates for his constructive P.C.R. check stated that the check was taken at 1:05 p.m. on Dec. 16 and that the constructive consequence was returned at 8:19 on the identical day. In an affidavit offered to an Australian courtroom, he stated, “On 16 December 2021, I used to be examined and recognized with SARS-CoV-2 (COVID).” It was unclear when precisely he discovered of his purported constructive check.

The Serbian prime minister, Ana Brnabic, stated this week that had Mr. Djokovic recognized that he was constructive for the coronavirus earlier than attending the awards occasion on Dec. 17, he would have “clearly violated the foundations” in Serbia.

However extra data was required, she added, saying, “I don’t know when he acquired the check consequence, when he learn it.”

When requested what would occur if Mr. Djokovic was discovered to have breached quarantine guidelines, she stated the Serbian authorities would “cope with it.”

In his assertion, Mr. Djokovic additionally addressed questions in regards to the declaration he made on his visa paperwork that he had not traveled to some other international locations within the 14 days earlier than arriving in Australia. The paperwork warns of great penalties for false solutions to the query.

His declaration had appeared to be contradicted by social media posts displaying him touring between Spain and Serbia. On Wednesday, he stated his agent had made an “administrative mistake in ticking the inaccurate field.”

“This was a human error and positively not deliberate,” he stated, including that his group on Wednesday had “offered further data to the Australian authorities to make clear the matter.”

This implies it’s unlikely that the saga can be resolved shortly, with the immigration minister, Alex Hawke, indicating that he wanted extra time to think about the brand new data earlier than deciding whether or not to cancel Mr. Djokovic’s visa once more.

A spokesman for Mr. Hawke stated that Mr. Djokovic’s legal professionals had made “prolonged additional submissions and supporting documentation stated to be related to the potential cancellation of Mr. Djokovic’s visa.”

“Naturally, this may have an effect on the time-frame for a call,” he added.


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