Novak Djokovic He won the court battle over the revocation of his visa and was able to enjoy his first training session at Melbourne Park. However, Australia still has an option to expel him from the country if the Minister of Immigration, Alex Hawkes, exercises his particular power to indicate that the situation of the Serb in the country is a danger to the health of the locals.
The number 1 in the world claimed not to be vaccinated, but that he could show that he did not have to, having been infected with coronavirus on December 16.
This is attested by the conversation with the Border Forces who questioned him upon arrival at the airport. The interview begins around twelve thirty at night and lasts until dawn, with two conflicting points: PCR that indicated contagion, who collide with the images of the Serbian only one day later in a massive event, and when the tennis player tries to explain who granted him the medical exemption to play the Australian Open without the obligation of the vaccine:
Interviewer: What are the reasons for your trip to Australia?
Djokovic: I am a professional tennis player and the main reason for coming to Australia is to participate in the Australian Open in Melbourne, Victoria.
Interviewer: Thanks. Now, a question about your vaccination, are you vaccinated …
Djokovic: I am not vaccinated.
Interviewer: … for Covid-19? Not vaccinated?
Djokovic: I am not vaccinated.
Interviewer: Thanks. Have you had Covid-19?
Interviewer: When did you have it?
Djokovic: I have had Covid twice, I had Covid in June 2020 and recently in – I tested positive – a PCR on December 16.
Interviewer: Thanks. Excuse me, what is the date? December 16?
Djokovic: December 16, 2021, I have the documents to confirm it if you want me to offer it to you …
Interviewer: Thanks. I will make photocopies of these documents.
Djokovic: Yes, these are the PCR tests, so this is the positive one from December 16.
On who had granted the medical exemption:
Interviewer: For the medical exemption, did you provide any kind of documentation?
Djokovic: Yes, we deliver documents.
Interviewer: Do you know what kind of documents they provided?
Djokovic: Well, I don’t have the documents printed here. I can look for them in the email. We emailed the expert board that was selected by the Australian Federal Government to review the applications.
Interviewer: Was it selected by the Federal Government?
Interviewer: And this is your application for the medical exemption?
Djokovic: Yes. There were two medical boards …
Djokovic: … one was the Federal and I think another was from the State of Victoria …
Djokovic: … and Tennis Australia. I think I was wrong with the second, sorry if I did, but I know that there is a medical board, of the Federal Government of course, and the second I think is a mix between the State of Victoria and Tennis Australia. I’m not 100% sure, but I can verify it.
Interviewer: OK that’s fine. So you have documents that prove your medical exemption.
Djokovic: Yes. This is the letter from Tennis Australia.
Interviewer: Tennis Australia, yes. Who made the Australia travel request for you?
Djokovic: It was the government.
Interviewer: Oh, was it the government?
Interviewer: Did they do it for you?
Djokovic: They also gave me, I think it’s only for official use, the QR codes …
Djokovic: Croe which is one of the following roles. Logically everything is in the system, so you can check it …
Djokovic: … and validate it.
Interviewer: Ok, so this letter, the medical exemption is mostly talking about a medical board review, by Tennis Australia, but not the Federal Government? And you were sure …
Djokovic: Yes, the process was, yes, the process was with two independents … two medical boards …
Djokovic: And actually, I received emails from them with permission. I have an email, my agent has that email, so I can ask him to send it to you if he wants …
Djokovic: … if you need more additional information, because they told me it was enough for the review.
Interviewer: Yes, that’s fine. Obviously if we need something else we will ask for it.
Interviewer: You say that you do not know if your medical exemption was evaluated by the Government, so that is what I want to consult with you.
Djokovic: Yes, I have consulted with my agent and he has given me the document that I have here in front of me and it is the certificate of the exemption of the vaccine and that certificate has been granted by an independent medical board of Tennis Australia and the exemption was reviewed and supported by an independent waiver review board of the State of Victoria.
Djokovic: And based on that, I received the one from the Department of Internal Affairs of the Federal Government.
Interviewer: Yes, from the Australian.
Djokovic: The travel declaration.
Interviewer: Yes, the Australian travel statement. Earlier he had told me that the government had made it.
Djokovic: Yes, well, I think I made a mistake, it was not the Federal Government, it was the State of Victoria that had selected the medical board that reviewed the application with the Australian Open.
Djokovic: And then the Department of Internal Affairs granted the travel document.
Around four in the morning, the official tells Djokovic that, according to the documents provided, they are going to cancel his visa:
Interviewer: Based on the information you have provided to us, I am going to issue you a notice of intent to cancel your visa. I will read all the information.
Djokovic: I don’t understand, are you going to cancel my visa?
Interviewer: This is a notice of intent to consider cancellation pursuant to 116 of the Immigration Act of 1958. Once this notice is delivered to you …
Interviewer: As you know, I will give you 20 minutes or if you need more you can request it, to provide the reasons for not canceling your visa.
Djokovic: I don’t understand what else you want me to provide. I have provided all the documents that Tennis Australia and the State of Victoria have requested in recent weeks. My agent and I have been in constant communication with them and the medical board. Everything they asked me for the exemption was submitted. I applied for it, they approved it. I flew here for those documents, otherwise they would not have allowed me to enter your country. I have waited four hours and I cannot understand what the reason is. What papers are missing? What information?
After the interviewer reads you the rule for which your visa is canceled, they tell you that you will have until 8.30 in the morning, but it is at 7.38 when they inform you that your visa has been canceled and the reasons why you will have to leave the country.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism