Credit score…Mark Baker/Related Press

Novak Djokovic, the highest participant in males’s tennis and its main vaccine skeptic, had his visa canceled for the second time by the federal government of Australia, the place he had arrived Jan. 5 hoping to defend his Australian Open title. The match begins on Monday.

Right here’s a take a look at how the standoff has unfolded:

A shock exemption gave Djokovic an obvious probability to keep away from Australia’s powerful vaccination guidelines.

Djokovic has gained the final three Australian Open males’s singles championships, and a report 9 in his profession. However he has acquired scrutiny for his unscientific beliefs, together with his help for a declare that optimistic feelings can purify poisonous water or meals, and he has shunned coronavirus vaccines.

Final yr, the Australian Open introduced that individuals on this month’s match must be totally vaccinated, in step with necessities for coming into the nation. Djokovic’s participation was seen as unlikely till he announced Jan. 4 that he would play after receiving an exemption. It was later discovered that his exemption was based mostly on a latest coronavirus an infection.

The federal authorities stopped Djokovic on the border.

Djokovic was stopped on the airport in Melbourne late on Jan. 5 after flying from Spain by way of Dubai, United Arab Emirates. He was questioned for hours on the airport earlier than being despatched to a quarantine lodge.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison of Australia, who has confronted criticism over the federal government’s Covid-19 response, introduced that Djokovic’s entry had been denied as a result of he was unvaccinated. Federal officers stated {that a} earlier coronavirus an infection was not legitimate grounds for the vaccination exemption granted by Australian tennis officers and native authorities in Victoria, the state the place the match is held.

Djokovic, who was taken to a quarantine lodge pending his departure, instantly filed a authorized enchantment.

Djokovic gained an enchantment, however questions quickly arose.

On Monday, after Djokovic had spent 5 days at a lodge for refugees and asylum seekers, a decide dominated that he had been handled unfairly on the airport, denied a promised probability to contact his attorneys or Australian Open officers, and reinstated his visa.

However paperwork launched as a part of the authorized proceedings raised questions on Djokovic’s actions.

Data confirmed that he took a coronavirus take a look at at 1:05 p.m. on Dec. 16 in Belgrade, Serbia, and acquired the optimistic end result seven hours later. However social media posts confirmed that he had attended two public occasions on the day he sought his take a look at, and in addition a tennis occasion a day later in Belgrade, the place he introduced awards to kids. And Franck Ramella, a reporter with the French sports activities newspaper L’Equipe, wrote this week that when he performed an interview with Djokovic on Dec. 18, he didn’t know that the athlete had simply examined optimistic.

Questions additionally arose over whether or not Djokovic had made a false assertion on his entry type to Australia when he stated that he had not traveled internationally within the 14 days earlier than his flight from Spain. Social media posts confirmed him in Serbia on Christmas Day.

Djokovic acknowledged errors.

In a statement on Wednesday, Djokovic stated he was not but conscious that he had examined optimistic when he attended the youngsters’s occasion, and acknowledged that he had made a poor determination to not cancel the interview with the French journalist. He stated {that a} member of his help group had made a “human error” when filling out his paperwork.

However the assertion, which learn as each a late request for leniency and an evidence for irresponsible conduct, could have come too late. By then, Australia’s immigration minister, Alex Hawke, was already giving critical consideration to utilizing his powers to cancel the visa for the second time.

Australia’s immigration minister revoked Djokovic’s visa.

On Friday, Hawke stated in an announcement that he was canceling Djokovic’s visa on the grounds of “well being and good order,” including that it was within the public curiosity to take action. Djokovic’s attorneys shortly appealed, with the Australian Open beginning on Monday and his skill to compete for a males’s report twenty first Grand Slam title in jeopardy.

A 3-judge panel agreed to listen to the case.

Lawyers for Djokovic and the Australian government laid out their arguments in court docket paperwork forward of a Sunday listening to.

Hawke instructed Djokovic’s attorneys in a letter filed with the court docket that he canceled Djokovic’s visa out of concern that the tennis star’s presence in Australia might stoke anti-vaccine sentiment and result in “civil unrest.”

Djokovic’s attorneys argued that Hawke didn’t act rationally in that evaluation. Nicholas Wooden, one of many attorneys, stated the minister didn’t take note of the impression of forcing the participant in another country.

The panel, granted by Justice David O’Callaghan on Saturday on the request of Djokovic’s attorneys, implies that the court docket’s determination on the case can’t be appealed.


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