Novak Djokovic returned to detention in Australia

The soap opera of the participation of the Serbian tennis player in the Australian Open continues, Saturday, January 15, with his return to administrative detention in the Melbourne hotel used by the government to retain people in an irregular situation. He had been placed there previously before being released on Monday, January 10.

In his pleadings filed in court on Saturday, Immigration Minister Alex Hawke argued that Novak Djokovic’s presence in the country was “likely to pose a health risk to the Australian community”. According to him, the position of the player could encourage “anti-vaccination sentiment” and dissuade Australians from getting their booster shots, or even “lead to an upsurge in civil unrest “.

A bad example for Australians

The minister thus canceled Djokovic’s visa for the second time on Friday, January 14, by virtue of his discretionary power, invoking “ health and public order reasons », and considering that the « contempt Djokovic’s past with regard to health rules against the Covid was a bad example.

The Australian government launched deportation proceedings against the Serbian star earlier this week, which were unsuccessful after a judge blocked Djokovic’s deportation, reinstated his visa and ordered his immediate release.

Two days before the opening of the Australian Open, the participation of the Serb, who was to face his compatriot Miomir Kekmanovic on Monday in the first round, now seems unlikely.

Rafael Nadal annoyed

Novak Djokovic had been blocked on his arrival in Australia on January 5 and placed in administrative detention for the first time. The player, who contracted Covid-19 in December, hoped to be granted an exemption to enter the country without being vaccinated, which was not accepted by the authorities. This twisty soap opera takes place in a country whose inhabitants have endured some of the strictest health restrictions in the world for almost two years, and where elections are scheduled for May.

The Djokovic case is also followed assiduously in Serbia where “Nole is considered a national hero. On Friday, President Aleksandar Vucic accused Australia of “to mistreat “.

The other players preparing for the tournament no longer hide their annoyance and weariness. “The Australian Open is more important than any player” And this “will be a great Australian Open with or without him”, declared the Spaniard Rafael Nadal, one of the three superstars of world tennis, alongside Djokovic and the Swiss Roger Federer.



Tennis: Australia cancels Novak Djokovic’s visa again

The Australian visa of tennis world number one Novak Djokovic, who entered the country without being vaccinated against Covid-19, has been canceled for the second time, announced Friday January 14 the Minister of Immigration, Alex Hawke. This decision was made “on health and public order grounds”, the minister said in a statement. The Australian government “is strongly committed to protecting Australia’s borders, especially in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic”, he added.

→ READ. Antivax, esotericism and mysterious pyramid: Novak Djokovic, follower of pseudo-sciences

This second visa cancellation implies that the Serbian player, who was aiming for a record 21st Grand Slam title at the Australian Open which begins on Monday January 17, will be banned from entering the country for three years, except in certain circumstances.

Australian authorities also intend to order the return of the world number one in detention as of Saturday morning, government lawyer Stephen Lloyd announced on Friday. The government wants the Serb to be released from detention only to attend, in the offices of his lawyers and under the supervision of border police officers, the online court hearings concerning his case, the lawyer said .

Djokovic will not be expelled from Australia until justice has been finally pronounced, had previously assured Stephen Lloyd during a hearing before a judge in Melbourne. This Victorian judge, Anthony Kelly, announced on Friday that he was relinquishing responsibility in favor of Australian federal justice, despite the objections of the player’s lawyers who said they feared a slowdown in the procedure.

Novak Djokovic was training for the tournament

The 34-year-old’s visa had already been canceled for the first time on January 5 when he arrived in Melbourne, and Novak Djokovic was then placed in a detention center for deportation.

→ REREAD. The Djokovic case raises the question of the vaccination status of athletes

The tennis player’s lawyers had however won a resounding victory on January 10, obtaining from a judge that he restore his visa and order his immediate release. Since then, Novak Djokovic has been training for the tournament, and was due to face his compatriot Miomir Kecmanovic, 78, in the first round.and world player.

But the Minister of Immigration retained the possibility of canceling the visa again under his discretionary power.



Antivax, esotericism and mysterious pyramid: Novak Djokovic, follower of pseudosciences

The standoff continues between Novak Djokovic and Australian justice. The tennis player, unvaccinated, admitted Wednesday, January 12 in an Instagram post to have committed “Errors” after testing positive for Covid-19 on December 16.

The world number one did not consider it necessary to postpone a meeting with journalists from the daily The team two days later. “I felt compelled to continue and to do the L’Équipe interview because I didn’t want to let the journalist down”, he justified himself.

→ EXPLANATION. Novak Djokovic, vaccination and Australia: the reasons for a diplomatic incident

Novak Djokovic also pleaded “Human error” for having incorrectly completed the entry form to Australia. The player certifies not to have traveled in the 14 days preceding his arrival in the Antipodes. A period during which he nevertheless found himself in Serbia and then in Spain.

This false declaration earned him the cancellation of his visa, obtained thanks to a medical exemption allowing him to participate without being vaccinated at the Australian Open from January 17 to 30. This cancellation had itself been revoked by the Australian justice on Monday January 10.

Vaccine skepticism

Behind this politico-judicial imbroglio, there is the vagueness that has long surrounded the vaccination status of Novak Djokovic. The world number one has never hidden his skepticism towards vaccination.Personally, I am opposed to vaccination and I would not want to be forced by someone to have a vaccine in order to be able to travel ”, he said in April 2020 on Facebook.

→ ANALYSIS. The Djokovic case raises the question of the vaccination status of athletes

The Serbian champion is also known for his controversial positions vis-à-vis science. Adept of a gluten-free diet – a diet he defends in his book Winning service. Gluten-free food for perfect physical and mental health -, the 34-year-old player has never hidden his attraction for alternative medicines and pseudosciences.

In spring 2020, Novak Djokovic for example hosted a live Instagram with Chervin Jafarieh, well-being guru and boss of the food supplement brand Cymbiotika. The Serbian player said: I have seen people and I know people who through energetic transformation, the power of prayer, the power of gratitude, manage to transform the most toxic foods and the most polluted water into the most purifying. “

Novak Djokovic thus echoed the theory of Masaru Emoto, doctor of alternative medicine, according to which thought can have an impact on the structure of water. A theory more than controversial and which has never been validated by the scientific community. The champion and his wife Jelena are also followers of the Steiner-Waldorf pedagogy, named after the Austrian author Rudolf Steiner, theorist of anthroposophy. This esoteric ideology mixes concepts from different religions and considers that the world is moved by spiritual forces.

Esoteric pilgrimages

The pilgrimages of the Serbian in the small town of Visoko in Serbia are also talking. In 2005, Semir Osmanagic, a Serbian businessman, claims that the hill overlooking the village is actually a pyramid built by a technologically superior civilization. Novak Djokovic is going there in 2020 and says he felt “Regenerated”. Since then, tourism has exploded in the village, to the delight of Semir Osmanagic.

→ MAINTENANCE. Bronner report: “The Covid-19 revealed forms of conspiracy in certain Catholic fringes”

Convinced that his beliefs play a role in his many successes, the player with twenty major titles is not yet out of the woods. The Australian immigration minister can still cancel his visa permanently, preventing him from taking part in the first Grand Slam tournament of the season.



Tennis: an Australian judge orders the release of Novak Djokovic

Judge Anthony Kelly ended several days of legal battle by ordering on Monday January 10 the immediate release of Novak Djokovic, who, wishing to enter Australia without being vaccinated against Covid-19, has been held since his arrival in a center for migrants in Melbourne.

Christopher Tran, a government lawyer, warned, however, that Canberra could still decide to expel Novak Djokovic from the country, which would result in him being barred from entering Australia for three years.

→ EXPLANATION. Novak Djokovic, vaccination and Australia: the reasons for a diplomatic incident

The tennis player’s lawyers were trying to convince the federal court that the Serbian champion had contracted the Covid in December, which would exempt him from a compulsory vaccination to enter the territory. “What more could this man have done?” “, admitted during the hearing followed online by AFP the judge, who considered that Djokovic provided evidence, emanating from “Of a professor and an eminently qualified doctor” regarding his request for a medical exemption.

The “completely confused” player

The hearing opened late after a computer problem due to too many connections to attend its online retransmission, finally shared on YouTube in particular, despite a ban, by antivax. Djokovic, who did not speak at the hearing, finally obtained permission from the court to follow Monday’s proceedings from another, undisclosed location, before being forced to return to the detention center in the outcome of the hearings.

According to the sportsman’s lawyers, the player was “Completely confused”, when he was heard for several hours on the night of January 5 to 6 at Melbourne airport. They argued in particular that he was deprived of means of communication with his entourage during his interrogation. His lawyers say he tested positive for Covid-19 on December 16. However, he attended the next day in Belgrade, without a mask, a ceremony in honor of young Serbian players.

The Australian Open, where Djokovic aims to afford a 21st Grand Slam tournament that would place him at the top of tennis history ahead of his two historic rivals, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, begins in seven days and his participation depended entirely on Anthony Kelly’s decision.



Novak Djokovic, vaccination and Australia: the reasons for a diplomatic incident

The Australian Open tennis tournament could be played without its nine-time winner: Novak Djokovic has been detained in Melbourne by immigration services since his arrival on Wednesday evening. The visa of the Serbian world number one – who has always refused to say if he was vaccinated or not – has been canceled by the authorities, despite a medical exemption obtained to participate in the tournament (January 17 to 30). Threatened with deportation, he obtained a reprieve on Thursday until Monday. “La Croix” takes stock.

► What is the medical exemption that Novak Djokovic had announced to have obtained?

For months, “Nole” had cast doubt on his participation in the Australian Open because of the obligation to be vaccinated against Covid-19 to enter the country. The Serb, whose vaccination status is unknown, finally announced on Tuesday that he had obtained a medical waiver issued by the state of Victoria (where the tournament takes place) and theAustralian Tennis Federation for unvaccinated people.

→ ANALYSIS. The Djokovic case raises the question of the vaccination status of athletes

The reason for this exemption was not disclosed, the Federation invoking medical confidentiality. According to several media, it could have been granted due to contamination prior to Covid-19. The player had indeed tested positive in June 2020. According to the Australian daily The Age, it could have been contaminated again “At some point in the last six months”.

In Australia, this exemption was seen as preferential treatment, when the leaders of the Australian Open had promised the greatest firmness towards the unvaccinated. Wednesday, the Australian tabloid Courier Mail thus titled “You must be Djoking” (“You are joking”), a play on words around the name of the player, renamed “No-Vax” Djokovic. “If he is not vaccinated, he will have to provide acceptable proof that he cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons (…). If this proof is not sufficient, he will be treated like all the others. (unvaccinated) and sent home, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison had also warned at a press conference.

► Why was he, despite everything, turned away?

Despite this medical exemption, Novak Djokovic’s visa was finally canceled Thursday by Australian authorities upon his arrival in the country. According to The Age, contrary to what had been put forward at first, this refusal would not be linked to a visa error – the player would have presented a document which does not allow a medical exemption for a non-vaccinated person – but the reasons invoked by the Serbian to justify his supposed non-vaccination. “There does not seem to be a causal relationship between the fact that recently contracted the Covid and the fact that he was not vaccinated “, thus indicates the daily.

→ PORTRAIT. Winner at Roland-Garros, Djokovic on the road to the record

Novak Djokovic appealed against this decision. He was granted a reprieve until Monday. In the meantime, the Belgrade native is being held in a Melbourne hotel used by the government to hold people in an irregular situation. Several supporters gathered there to show their support, and at least one person was apprehended as the police tried to disperse the demonstrators.

► How did his arrest turn into the diplomatic incident?

The affair turned into a diplomatic incident after Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic regretted Wednesday evening on Instagram the ” bad treatment “ inflicted on Novak Djokovic by Australia. Thursday, Aleksandar Vucic went even further by denouncing “A political hunt”.

The Serbian authorities, he stressed, are doing “All they can” to help the world number one, specifying that Belgrade has contacted twice the Australian ambassador in Serbia and that the prime minister, Ana Brnabic, is to meet with a senior official of the Australian ministry of immigration and borders .

Belgrade intends to ask the Australian authorities to allow Novak Djokovic to stay in the house he had rented for the Australian Open and not in the hotel where he is currently and which the Serbian president has described “Infamous in the proper sense of the word”. The player’s father, Srdjan Djokovic, has also called for a demonstration of support in Belgrade.

► What is Novak Djokovic’s position on the vaccine?

The Serb has always refused to say whether he was vaccinated or not. “I’m going to keep the decision to get vaccinated or not to myself. I don’t want to be labeled pro or anti vaccine ”, he had declared at Roland Garros last April. The world number one, however, has never hidden his opposition to compulsory vaccination, repeatedly believing that everyone should be “Free” to make a choice.

→ EXPLANATION. Covid-19: what we know about the consequences for athletes

In June 2020, the Serbian had also been criticized after his contamination during the charitable tour he himself organized in the Balkans. “In Serbia, Corona is just a drink! “, he had fun at the start of this tournament, during which the barrier gestures had not been respected and which had ended up being canceled after the detection of several positive cases.