Q&A: the key questions that are still to be answered in Djokovic saga | Novak Djokovic

Did Novak Djokovic really check optimistic for Covid-19?

The world No 1 was given permission to play in Melbourne by Tennis Australia and the state authorities in Victoria solely after offering a doc displaying he had a optimistic check for Covid on 16 December. In the eyes of their medical panels – though not the Australian authorities’s – that made him eligible for a medical exemption, which meant Djokovic didn’t have to quarantine for 14 days after arriving in Australia.

Nonetheless on Monday, Der Spiegel claimed that when it scanned the QR code belonging to Djokovic’s PCR check at 1.19pm German time it mentioned: “Take a look at consequence Unfavorable.” Nonetheless an hour later, after one other scan, it mentioned: “Optimistic.”

A number of others – together with the New York Times journalist Ben Rothenberg – reported the identical findings, with Rothenberg additionally posting a photograph of the two totally different outcomes. When the Guardian tried on Tuesday it returned universally optimistic outcomes.

In the meantime, on Tuesday, Der Spiegel mentioned it had discovered an anomaly in the timestamp for the digital model of Djokovic’s optimistic check which, it claimed, indicated the consequence may very well be from 26 December and never the sixteenth.


When requested about Djokovic’s PCR check on Monday, his brother Djordje insisted the complete course of was public and “all paperwork are authorized”.

If Djokovic did check optimistic, why did he seem at a number of public occasions and not using a masks shortly afterwards?

Djokovic took a PCR check at 1pm on 16 December and acquired his optimistic consequence seven hours later. At the time of his check, Serbia legally required those that had Covid to self-isolate for 14 days or danger a tremendous. As an alternative Djokovic attended a ceremony for the unveiling of a stamp in his honour in Belgrade, which he posted about on Twitter, after which additionally posed with 23 younger gamers at his tennis academy.

In the meantime on 18 December, the French newspaper L’Équipe mentioned he took half in its Champion of Champions awards photo shoot in Belgrade.

Djokovic is but to remark. Nonetheless when his brother, Djordje, was requested about these public appearances at a media occasion on Monday he out of the blue introduced: “This press convention is adjourned at the second.”


Did Djokovic fill in his Australian Journey Declaration kind incorrectly?

When Djokovic’s declaration was filed on 1 January, the answer “no” was ticked to the query: “Have you ever travelled, or will you journey, in the 14 days prior to your flight to Australia?”

Nonetheless Djokovic flew to Melbourne from Spain on 4 January, having apparently spent the new year in Marbella. On 31 December a social media submit additionally purported to present him collaborating in an exercise with kids from the SotoTennis Academy in Cádiz, the place he filmed a message.

A tweet on Christmas Day from the tennis journalist José Morgado suggests Djokovic was in Belgrade alongside the Serbian handball participant Petar Djordjic, in a picture taken from the latter’s Instagram on the identical day. A video of him taking part in tennis from a special account was posted on the identical day and deleted on Tuesday.

In an affidavit Djokovic submitted to the courtroom, he mentioned he “authorised” his agent to submit the journey declaration kind though amongst the paperwork he additionally advised it was Tennis Australia. In his interview with border officers, he appeared to credit score it at totally different instances to the Australian authorities and his agent or supervisor. The shape states that “giving false and deceptive info is a severe offence. You may additionally be liable to a civil penalty for giving false or deceptive info.”


Border officers additionally might have questions to reply, nonetheless. Serbia shouldn’t be in the EU, however Spain is in the Schengen zone so if Djokovic had travelled, there ought to have been a stamp in his passport displaying the date of his arrival in Spain.

Did the Australian Open and Victorian authorities ignore their very own guidelines?

Tennis Australia’s chief govt, Craig Tiley, mentioned final week the potential causes for medical exemptions from vaccination to play in the match included earlier antagonistic response to vaccines, latest main surgical procedure or myocarditis or licensed proof of a Covid an infection in the earlier six months.

Nonetheless the deadline for making use of for a medical exemption from vaccination to compete at the Australian Open was 10 December — six days earlier than Djokovic’s optimistic check consequence. But on 30 December it allowed the Serb to play. So why did the authorities seem to bend their very own guidelines?

Novak Djokovic still faces the chance of being deported from Australia. {Photograph}: Kelly Defina/EPA

If Djokovic had not examined optimistic, what was his plan for competing in Melbourne?

On the face of it, Djokovic appeared doubtless to sit out a match he has gained a file 9 instances till he caught Covid on 16 December – which out of the blue glad Tennis Australia and the Victorian authorities that he deserved a medical exemption. However would the world No 1 actually have spurned the likelihood to win a males’s record-breaking twenty first grand slam in Melbourne if he had not gotten ailing?

What occurs now?

Djokovic practised once more on Tuesday whereas he awaited the choice of Australia’s immigration minister, Alex Hawke, who may but revoke his visa for a second time utilizing powers granted to him by Australia’s Migration Act. That call is now doubtless to be on Wednesday at the earliest.

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