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Investigation widens into Djokovic visa discrepancies – reports

The world No 1 may have hoped to calm speculation with his social media post – but he has fuelled the fire a little more, it seems

Novak Djokovic Novak Djokovic rests at Melbourne Park as questions remain over the legal battle regarding his visa to play in the Australian Open in Melbourne, Australia (Panoramic)

The investigation has broadened into the visa Novak Djokovic used to get into Australia, according to reports there.

The Age – one of the Australian newspapers that has carried the most detailed reporting about the Djoko-fiasco – says that the world No 1’s latest Instagram statement has raised a number of questions which immigration minister Alex Hawke may want to consider.

Hawke has the executive power to personally cancel Djokovic’s visa to be in the country – despite a federal court upholding his appeal against its cancellation on procedural grounds.

And Djokovic’s statement on Instagram has highlighted a number of discrepancies that the Age suggest may be of interest to the minister. They include:

  • A breach of Covid-19 isolation regulations in Serbia. Djokovic said that he attended an interview with L’Equipe on December 18 even though he had received a positive Covid-19 test. “I felt obligated to go ahead,” he said, adding that he remained socially distanced and masked except for during the accompanying photo shoot. “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 the commitment.” The interview published by L’Equipe shows Djokovic photographed in a mask, indicates consistent social distance except for a pat on the shoulder between him and the journalist at the end of the meeting, and the reporter has since repeatedly tested negative.
  • Inaccurate information on his travel entry form, in which he said that he had not travelled in the 14 days prior to entering Australia (Djokovic attributed this to “human error” on his agent’s part, but it would still be his responsibility).
  • Inconsistencies on the dates of his Covid-19 tests.  There have been doubts raised about the dates on which Djokovic tested positive and when he tested negative. On Instagram, Djokovic said he received a positive result on the night of December 17 after submitting the test the day before – but in his court documents he had said he was “tested and diagnosed” on December 16.

The Australian Open main draw begins on Monday January 17 as Djokovic seeks a 21st Grand Slam singles title.

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