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12th Jan 2022

Djokovic admits not isolating after positive Covid result and blames agent for mistake

Charlie Herbert

Djokovic releases statement surrounding Australia controversy

He said his agent made an ‘administrative mistake’

Novak Djokovic has admitted to attending an interview the day after he tested positive for Covid-19, and has blamed his agent for declaring he had not travelled in the two weeks before his flight to Australia.

In a statement released by the Serb on Wednesday, Novak said he was addressing the “continuing misinformation” around the story.

On Monday, Djokovic won his court case to stay in the country, after having been held in an immigration detention centre for several days when border officials decided not to let him into the country because of confusion over his vaccine exemption.

The statement posted on Instagram reads: “I want to address the continuing misinformation … in the interest of alleviating broader concern in the community about my presence in Australia.”

“I want to emphasise that I have tried very hard to ensure the safety of everyone and my compliance with testing obligations,” he said.

“I attended a basketball game in Belgrade on 14 December after which it was reported that a number of people tested positive with Covid-19.

“Despite having no Covid symptoms, I took a rapid antigen test on 16 December which was negative, and out of an abundance of caution, also took an official and approved PCR test on that same day.”

But Australia’s immigration minister, Alex Hawke, has confirmed he is still considering re-cancelling Djokovic’s visa, the Guardian reports.

Hawke said the delay in making a decision is down to “lengthy further submissions and supporting documentation” from Novak’s lawyers.

Australian Border Force is investigating whether Djokovic had travelled to Belgrade less than two weeks before his flight from Spain to Australia on 4 January.

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The world number one said he attended a tennis event in Belgrade to present awards to children on December 17, after apparently testing negative on a rapid test.

But he admitted that despite then testing positive he decided to attend his tennis centre on December 18 to uphold a “longstanding commitment for a L’Equipe interview” because he “felt obliged” to and “didn’t want to let the journalist down.”

He claims he socially distanced and wore a mask – except when photos were taken.

The Australian Open gets underway on Monday.