Novak Djokovic Blames Agent For ‘Ticking Wrong Box’ in Travel Form To Australia

© REUTERS / POOLFormer world No.1 tennis player Novak Djokovic speaks during a news conference in Belgrade, Serbia July 26, 2017.
Former world No.1 tennis player Novak Djokovic speaks during a news conference in Belgrade, Serbia July 26, 2017. - Sputnik International, 1920, 12.01.2022
The row over tennis No 1 Novak Djokovic's medical exemption to participate in the upcoming Australian Open earlier saw Judge Anthony Kelly reinstate the 20-time Grand Slam winner's visa, after he was detained at Melbourne Airport and held in hotel quarantine from 6 January.
Novak Djokovic has blamed his agent for making a “human error” when filling in his travel form to enter Australia, while also deploring his "error of judgement" when breaching COVID-19 isolation rules after testing positive last December.
In a Wednesday Instagram post, the tennis world no. 1 revealed he met with a journalist for an interview at his tennis centre in Belgrade two days after his coronavirus test came in positive on 16 December.
"I accept that I should have rescheduled," wrote the Serbian athlete. He insisted he socially distanced and wore a mask except when photos were taken.
"I felt obliged to go ahead and conduct the L'Equipe interview as I didn't want to let the journalist down. [I ensured] I socially distanced and wore a mask except when my photograph was being taken," continued Djokovic in the Instagram post.
The tennis player also blamed his agent for making a mistake when filling in the travel history section of the form he used to enter Australia. The travel form stated that Djokovic had not travelled in the 14 days before his arrival in Australia, while recent reports suggest he had travelled to Serbia and then to Spain.
"My agent sincerely apologises for the administrative mistake in ticking the incorrect box. This was a human error and certainly not deliberate," wrote Djokovich.
He also addressed other reports about him appearing in public after the positive test as "misinformation". The 34-year old added that his team had provided additional information to the Australian government “to clarify this matter."
Novak Djokovic’s statement did not address a recent report by Der Spiegel that alleged anomalies with his 16 December PCR test result. The story suggested the QR code for test showed a negative result when they scanned it earlier this week before subsequently giving a positive result.
 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic in action during the match against Mitchell Krueger - Sputnik International, 1920, 11.01.2022
Novak Djokovic's Medical Exemption Saga Gets Murkier as His COVID Test QR Code Throws Mixed Results
The athlete’s Instagram revelations come as the Australian government considers whether to deport the unvaccinated 20-time Grand Slam winner. Djokovic, hoping to defend his Australian Open title at the tournament starting on 17 January, had his visa revoked on 6 January shortly after his arrival in the country.
Questions had been raised over his COVID-19 jab exemption that would have permitted him to enter. On 10 January a federal circuit court judge overturned the decision and ordered the release of the player from hotel detention. Nevertheless, the saga is not over, as the Canberra government has not ruled out further action.
The country’s immigration minister, Alex Hawke, has confirmed he is still considering re-cancelling the athlete’s visa, citing “lengthy further submissions and supporting documentation” from the player’s lawyers.
Relatives of Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic (LtoR) his uncle Goran, his mother Dijana, his father Srdjan and his brother Djordje stand during a press conference, in Belgrade, on January 10, 2022. - Sputnik International, 1920, 10.01.2022
Novak Djokovic's Family Rejoice Over Australia's U-Turn on Visa Cancellation
Amid the row, the men's professional tennis tour has urged more clarity on rules to enter Australia, while also calling on players to get coronavirus inoculations. "The series of events leading to Monday's court hearing have been damaging on all fronts, including for Novak's well-being and preparation for the Australian Open," stated the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP).
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