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Czech player Voracova, who like Djokovic, was deported from Melbourne, gets Australian visa reinstated

In its findings, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal of Australia says the case of Voracova can be distinguished from that of Djokovic

Renata Voracova at the Hungarian Grand Prix in Budapest in July 2022 Renata Voracova at the Hungarian Grand Prix in Budapest in July 2022 Image Credit: Imago / Panoramic

Renata Voracova, the Czech player who like Novak Djokovic, had her visa revoked prior to the 2022 Australian Open over her vaccination status, has had her visa reinstated after a tribunal found that there was no wrongdoing on her part.

Renata Voracova had entered Melbourne in January to compete at the Australian Open with a medical exemption but as the Djokovic visa saga exploded, she found her visa status also under scrutiny and then had to leave the country.

The decision to reinstate her visa was made on February 8, according to The Age.

The Administrative Appeals Tribunal of Australia said in its findings, “There was no evidence Ms Voracova failed to comply with her visa conditions. She had followed all relevant rules and there was evidence she had relied on representations made to her by Tennis Australia and the Department of Health in Victoria about her medical exemption. I accept the submission that there was no law preventing Ms Voracova from entering Australia at the relevant time even though she was unvaccinated.”

“She truthfully answered the travel declaration and she had cogent medical evidence to support her exemption, being the evidence provided by her general practitioner about her vulnerability to thrombosis. Notably, Ms Voracova did not need to rely on the fact that she had previously contracted COVID-19 as a medical contraindication to vaccination because she had a medical basis to delay vaccination,” the Tribunal added.

The findings also spoke about how Voracova’s case was different from that of Djokovic, who faces a three-year ban and may not be able to play at the Australian Open next January.

As per Australian laws, Djokovic will not be allowed to enter the country for three years unless the Immigration Minister provides him an exemption on compelling or compassionate grounds.

“I also note, for completeness, that Ms Voracova’s case can be distinguished from [the] Djokovic [case] because her visa was not cancelled on the grounds of ‘good order,’ nor do the circumstances of her case lend themselves to such a conclusion. “As noted, Ms Voracova is not opposed to vaccination and, unlike the Djokovic case where the minister apparently found there was evidence Mr Djokovic had shown a disregard for the self-isolation protocols, there is no such evidence before me to this effect in this case.”

Djokvic has repeatedly said that he does not plan to get vaccinated in order to play tournaments. Speaking after winning Wimbledon earlier this month, the Serb remained hopeful of being able to compete at next month’s US Open or the 2023 Australian Open.

“I’m not vaccinated and I’m not planning to get vaccinated so the only good news I can have is them removing the mandated green vaccine card or whatever you call it to enter United States, or (an) exemption,” the Serb said.

“I don’t know. I don’t think exemption is realistically possible. If that is a possibility, I don’t know what exemption would be about. I don’t know. I don’t have much answers there. I think it’s just whether or not they remove this in time for me to get to USA.”

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