There has been a lot of controversy surrounding Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic and his failure to isolate after testing positive for COVID. Opinions regarding the athlete, ahead of the Australian Open are strong. In fact, a pair of TV anchors on the Seven Network in Australia were caught blasting Djokovic when they thought their mics were turned off.
Djokovic tested positive for COVID last month. He did not isolate, and in fact, went on to do a media interview and photo shoot with a French sports newspaper knowing he had the virus. He also issued a false travel declaration.
He apologized for his public appearances saying they were an error in judgment, but he also claimed the travel statement had been submitted by a member of his support staff. He chalks that one up to human error.
The journalist and photographer working for L’Equipe, the newspaper that Djokovic interviewed with, were not told the athlete was COVID positive before or after the meeting took place.
Australian Border Force officials are investigating inconsistencies in documents with the tennis star’s test results as well as his activities after testing positive. They are still trying to determine how this will affect Djokovic’s current Australian visa.
Reports came out on Tuesday regarding possible discrepancies in the digital data on Djokovic’s PCR tests which were filed in court by the athlete’s lawyers and published online. According to certain media outlets, both positive and negative results appear when the QR code is accessed. Others are only seeing a positive result which is consistent with the documents filed in court.
Djokovic’s less than honest approach to the matter is being met with disapproval among media outlets and the general public. This became even more apparent after TV news anchors on Seven Network in Australia were caught blasting the athlete, seemingly unaware that they were being recorded.
The leaked video footage shows anchors Mike Amor and Rebecca Maddern questioning mistakes that appeared on Djokovic’s visa application and making personal attacks against him. “Whatever way you look at it, Dkokovic is a lying sneaky a**hole,” one of them was quoted as saying.
The video also features snippets of their conversation where they discuss opinions regarding the government and border authorities making a mess of the process.
The leaked mic footage has gone viral on Twitter and other social media outlets.
The Current Situation
Djokovic was traveling to Australia to participate in the Australian Open. Although he was detained at the border, he is being allowed to stay in the country.
The penalty for submitting a false travel declaration can be punished with a maximum penalty of 12 months. Although the judge allowed the athlete to walk free to begin training for the tournament, he could still face deportation. There is also an ongoing investigation concerning whether he will be removed from the country.
Although the judge has overturned the decision to cancel the athlete’s visa, immigration minister Alex Hawke could use his personal power to revoke it, which would lead to another legal standoff. If Djokovic is permitted to stay in the country, it is likely that he will play in the Australian Open however, that is also unclear.
Djokovic has made several statements concerning the situation,
“I want to address the continuing misinformation about my activities and attendance at events in December in the lead up to my positive PCR COVID test result. This is misinformation which needs to be corrected, particularly in the interest of alleviating broader concerns in the community about my presence in Australia and to address matters which are very hurtful concerning my family. I want to emphasize that I have tried hard to ensure the safety of everyone and my compliance with testing obligations.”
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Regardless, photographs have shown the athlete out at public events unmasked around other people including children. Supposedly, that was during a time when he was ‘uncertain’ about his results.
The next few days should reveal Djokovic’s fate concerning the matter at hand. Whether his reputation will ever recover is unknown.