World tennis number one Novak Djokovic lay low on his third day in detention for Australian immigrants on Saturday, joined by Czech player Renata Voracova as a blame game between Australian authorities over the handling of exemptions from COVID-19 vaccine has gained momentum. The Serbian superstar, a virulent opponent of the vaccine warrants who came to Australia in the hope of winning his 21st Grand Slam at the Australian Open, has been locked up since Thursday in a modest hotel in Melbourne after his visa was canceled. due to medical exemption issues. .
His lawyers are preparing a legal challenge to the cancellation of his visa, which is due to go to a hearing in federal court on Monday, and have until Saturday evening local time to file a summary of their case. But other than a short Instagram post thanking fans for their support, Djokovic, one of the richest athletes in the world, has made no public appearances or comments since entering the Park Hotel, which is also home to dozens. asylum seekers trying to enter the country. .
The Australian newspaper reported that Djokovic requested access to his boss and a tennis court while in detention, but his request was denied. Groups of anti-vaccine protesters, Djokovic supporters and refugee advocates formed an unusual alliance outside the hotel, which was under police surveillance. As the Australian Border Force has said it has canceled several other visas of people involved in the tournament, including those from Voracova, the federal and Victorian state governments, and Tennis Australia has denied any responsibility in the dispute, which has been condemned by the Serbian government.
After News Corp newspapers published a document from Tennis Australia apparently advising players on how to enter the country with a medical exemption from vaccination, the organizing body said it never knowingly induced the players in error and had always urged players to get vaccinated. “We have always been consistent in our communications with players that vaccination is the best course of action – not only as the right thing to do to protect yourself and others, but also as the best course of action to protect yourself and others. make sure they could get to Australia, “Tennis Australia said in a statement quoted by local media.
“We completely reject the fact that the group of players was knowingly misled.” Tennis Australia’s advice was based on content from a federal government website to which it had been referred by the Federal Minister of Health, the statement added.
Tennis Australia did not respond to Reuters requests for comment. The group’s fact sheet, as published by News Corp, said players could enter the country with a “overseas medical exemption” that had been “reviewed by an Australian doctor” and then entered into a base. central data.
The document was distributed to players last month, News Corp. reported. But the federal government released a letter showing it wrote to Tennis Australia in November, saying a previous infection with COVID-19 was not necessarily grounds for exemption in Australia, as it has elsewhere. . Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley has defended the organization’s actions, according to a video released on Saturday.
In an address to Tennis Australia staff, uploaded to News Corp websites, Tiley said he would tell the whole story of the saga, but was forced because Djokovic was challenging his visa cancellation in front of the tribunal. “We would like to share all the information with you, and we will,” he said in the video.
“We have chosen at this point not to be very public with this and simply because there is an ongoing lawsuit related to entering Australia. Once this has run its course we can share more. “There is a lot of finger pointing and blaming but I can assure you that our team did an amazing job and did everything they could according to all the instructions given to them.”
Djokovic, 34, has not disclosed the reasons for his exemption and has consistently refused to disclose his vaccination status. Vaccines are not required in Australia but are required for certain activities.
(This story was not edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)