Djokovic had COVID-19 last month, lawyers say

Tennis

Novak Djokovic contracted COVID-19 last month but was not experiencing symptoms and had written clearance from Australia’s immigration department before travelling to the country with a medical exemption from its vaccination rules, his lawyers said in a court filing on Saturday.

The No. 1-ranked Djokovic, who is in immigration detention in Australia after having his visa cancelled on arrival on Thursday, returned his first positive coronavirus test on Dec. 16, but 14 days later “had not had a fever or respiratory symptoms of COVID-19 in the last 72 hours,” the filing said.

On Jan. 1, Djokovic received a “a document from the Department of Home Affairs (which) told Mr Djokovic that his ‘responses indicate(d) that (he met) the requirements for a quarantine-free arrival into Australia,” the documents added.

Djokovic was denied entry at the Melbourne airport late Wednesday after border officials cancelled his visa for failing to meet its entry requirement that all non-citizens be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Djokovic was given a medical exemption backed by the Victoria state government and Australian Open organizers based on information he supplied to two independent medical panels.

But it has since emerged that the medical exemption, allowed for people who tested positive for the coronavirus in the previous six months, was deemed invalid by border authorities.

Information from The Associated Press and Reuters was used in this report.

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