MELBOURNE, Australia — Novak Djokovic, the top-ranked males’s tennis participant, stated on Wednesday that he had participated in an interview and a photograph shoot in his native Serbia even after testing constructive for Covid-19, because the Australian authorities continued to analyze whether or not he needs to be deported as a danger to public well being.
Mr. Djokovic launched an announcement on social media that he stated was meant to “clarify misinformation” in regards to the weeks earlier than he arrived in Melbourne, the place he was detained by Australian border officers earlier than being ordered launched on Monday by a federal decide.
But the assertion didn’t totally resolve a spread of questions which have swirled over Mr. Djokovic’s quest to stay in Australia and search a report twenty first Grand Slam title. Among them are precisely when he realized of the constructive take a look at consequence, and the way his journey paperwork got here to misstate that he had not traveled internationally within the 14 days earlier than his arrival in Australia.
Mr. Djokovic’s assertion got here as Australia’s immigration minister stated he was nonetheless contemplating whether or not to train his private powers to cancel Mr. Djokovic’s visa once more, and as immigration officers had been investigating the discrepancies within the paperwork Mr. Djokovic introduced as he tried to enter Australia final week with an exemption from a requirement for Covid-19 vaccinations.
That exemption was granted by Australian tennis officers on the premise of what Mr. Djokovic has stated was a Covid an infection he had in mid-December. He had come beneath criticism over pictures on social media displaying him at occasions on the similar time he was supposedly contaminated with the coronavirus.
Mr. Djokovic stated on Instagram on Wednesday that he had taken a PCR take a look at on Dec. 16 after some folks at a basketball sport he had attended two days earlier examined constructive for the coronavirus. Despite having no signs, he additionally took a fast antigen take a look at “out of an abundance of caution,” he stated, and it got here again adverse.
On Dec. 17, he stated, as he was awaiting his PCR consequence, he attended a tennis occasion in Belgrade, the Serbian capital, the place he introduced awards to youngsters. He stated that his PCR take a look at didn’t come again constructive till after that occasion.
On Dec. 18, he went forward with an interview and a photograph shoot with the French sports activities newspaper L’Equipe “to fulfill a longstanding commitment,” he stated.
“I felt obliged to go ahead and conduct the L’Equipe interview as I didn’t want to let the journalist down, but did ensure I socially distanced and wore a mask except when my photograph was taken,” Mr. Djokovic stated.
“While I went home after the interview to isolate for the required period, on reflection, this was an error of judgment and I accept that I should have rescheduled this commitment,” he added.
It was not the primary time Mr. Djokovic has needed to apologize for dismissive actions he has taken through the pandemic. In mid-2020, because the virus raged in Europe and elsewhere, he held a tennis event after which he and several other others examined constructive.
While Mr. Djokovic stated in his assertion on Wednesday that he “had not received the notification of a positive PCR result” till Dec. 17 — after the occasion involving youngsters — paperwork he offered to Australian officers as he tried to enter the nation stated that the consequence had been returned the day earlier than.
A duplicate of his medical certificates for his constructive PCR take a look at stated that the take a look at was taken at 1:05 p.m. on Dec. 16 and that the constructive consequence was returned at 8:19 on the identical day. In an affidavit offered to an Australian courtroom, he stated, “On 16 December 2021, I was tested and diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 (COVID).” It was unclear when precisely he realized of his purported constructive take a look at.
The Novak Djokovic Standoff with Australia
The Serbian prime minister, Ana Brnabic, stated this week that had Mr. Djokovic identified that he was constructive for the coronavirus earlier than attending the awards occasion on Dec. 17, he would have “clearly violated the rules” in Serbia.
But extra info was required, she added, saying, “I don’t know when he received the test result, when he read it.”
When requested what would occur if Mr. Djokovic was discovered to have breached quarantine guidelines, she stated the Serbian authorities would “deal with it.”
In his assertion, Mr. Djokovic additionally addressed questions in regards to the declaration he made on his visa paperwork that he had not traveled to another international locations within the 14 days earlier than arriving in Australia. The paperwork warns of great penalties for false solutions to the query.
His declaration had appeared to be contradicted by social media posts displaying him touring between Spain and Serbia. On Wednesday, he stated his agent had made an “administrative mistake in ticking the incorrect box.”
“This was a human error and certainly not deliberate,” he added.