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NOVAK DJOKOVIC claimed he made an “error of judgement” by attending an interview with a French journalist in December while Covid-positive.
A statement posted on Djokovic’s Instagram account today was an obvious bid to clear up some of the discrepancies between the Serbian’s paperwork and his actual activities prior to arriving in Melbourne to prepare for the Australian Open.
But instead, to the sceptic at least — and in the case of Djokovic there are many sceptical of his veracity — it came over very much like “the dog ate my homework.”
Continuing this seemingly never-ending saga, the determined jab-dodger said he attended a children’s tennis event in Belgrade the day after being tested for Covid-19.
“I had not received the notification of a positive PCR test result until after that event,” the statement claimed.
“The next day, on December 18 I was at my tennis centre in Belgrade to fulfil a long-standing commitment for a L’Equipe interview and photoshoot. I cancelled all other events except for the L’Equipe interview.
“I felt obliged to go ahead and conduct the L’Equipe interview as I didn’t want to let the journalist down, but did ensure I socially distanced and wore a mask except when my photograph was being taken.
“While I went home after the interview to isolate for the required period, on reflection, this was an error of judgement, and I accept that I should have rescheduled this commitment.”
Djokovic’s statement also attempted to address the widely reported discrepancy in his travel declaration, published by the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia earlier this week. He attributed it to “human error” on behalf of his agent.
“On the issue of my travel declaration, this was submitted by my support team on my behalf – as I told immigration officials on my arrival – and my agent sincerely apologises for the administrative mistake in ticking the incorrect box about my previous travel before coming to Australia.
“This was a human error and certainly not deliberate. We are living in challenging times in a global pandemic and sometimes these mistakes can occur.”
Since Monday, when Djokovic won his court battle against the Australian Border Force., Australian immigration minister Alex Hawke been considering intervening in the matter and cancelling the Serb’s visa.
Djokovic is the Australian Open defending champion and top seed. He has won nine times in Melbourne and a further victory would take him to 21 Grand Slam wins, moving him ahead of Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.
The Australian Open draw is due to be held today.
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