Novak Djokovic’s lawyers claim he tested positive for Covid-19 on December 16 – but pictures show him with dozens of children at an event the next day
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Novak Djokovic is pictured at a PR event with dozens of children a day after his lawyer accused him of testing positive for Covid-19.
Djokovic attended three separate events in his native Serbia on December 16 and 17.
Not wearing a mask, Djokovic was pictured as a panelist for an in-house discussion for his charity, and also shared images of the Instagram His page received a stamp made in his honor.
A day later, he attended an awards ceremony at the Belgrade Tennis Association, where he was photographed hugging the kids.
It is unclear if Djokovic was aware of his positive Covid test result.
Djokovic, who was not vaccinated against Coronavirus, which landed in Melbourne earlier this week before the Australian Open received a medical exemption to compete.
But he was denied entry to the country by Border Force and held at the airport while his visa was checked and ultimately cancelled.
Djokovic has appealed the decision and is being held in a quarantine hotel in Melbourne, although Australian officials insist he is free to leave the country any time he chooses.
The appeal will be heard on Monday.
Djokovic’s lawyers say he tested positive for Covid-19 just weeks before arriving in Australia.
“Mr Djokovic received, on 30 December 2021, a letter from the Medical Director of Tennis Australia (‘Certificate of Exemption’) stating that he has been offered a ‘medical exemption for vaccinated against COVID’ on the grounds that he recently recovered from COVID,” the document reads.
“The Exemption Certificate also states that … the date of the first positive COVID PCR test recorded on December 16, 2021, has been 14 days now and Mr. Djokovic has not had a fever or respiratory symptoms of COVID-19 in the last 72 hours.”
The world number one tennis player arrives in Australia hoping to win her 21st Grand Slam title to beat Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
Djokovic believes he has documents from the Interior Ministry that say he meets the requirements to travel with a quarantine certificate.
Tennis Australia (TA), meanwhile, told players they could enter the country without vaccination if they tested positive within the past six months.
They said in a statement: “The following has now been clarified as a category for which you may be eligible for a temporary medical exemption: Recent PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection ( after July 31, 2021), where vaccination can be postponed until six months after infection.”
TA also states that applications for the medical exemption must be submitted on or before December 10, 2021, which is six days before Djokovic tests positive.
The sports organization’s advice appears to be at odds with the rules set forth by Health Minister Greg Hun.
And upon landing at Melbourne airport, the Serbian superstar was denied entry to Australian Border Force (ABF) officials for claiming he “failed to present appropriate evidence”.
The latest development comes as Czech star Renata Voracova has been deported from Australia after her visa was canceled by Border Force.
Voracova left Melbourne on a flight to Dubai on Saturday night local time after initially being held in the same quarantine hotel as Djokovic.
It is believed Voracova has been granted the same exemption by Tennis Australia as Djokovic. She played in a launch competition Down Under.
But, unlike Djokovic, she has now left Australia without challenging the ruling.