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Djokovic: Covid infection gave him vaccine exemption, lawyers say

Novak Djokovic of Serbia reacts during a practice session at Melbourne Park on February 1, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia

Image source, Getty Images

Tennis star Novak Djokovic had a vaccine exemption to enter Australia due to a recent Covid infection, his lawyers say in court documents.

“The date of the first positive Covid PCR test was recorded on 16 December 2021,” they said.

Djokovic was denied entry to Australia after landing in Melbourne this week to play in the Australian Open.

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He is currently in immigration detention with a court challenge due on Monday.

The case involving the world’s top ranked tennis player has caused a huge outcry in Australia and made waves around the world.

Djokovic, who has said he is opposed to vaccination, had been granted a medical exemption to play in the tournament in a decision that infuriated many ordinary Australians.

But the Serbian was dramatically denied entry on landing. On Wednesday, Australian Border Force (ABF) officials said the 34-year-old player had “failed to provide appropriate evidence” at Melbourne Airport.

In court documents released on Saturday, Djokovic’s lawyers said that 14 days after testing positive in December, the player “had not had a fever or respiratory symptoms of Covid-19 in the last 72 hours”.

There had been no prior announcement of his infection.

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