Novak Djokovic applied for a medical exemption on the basis of recently contracting COVID-19: report


Novak Djokovic’s visa into Australia was allegedly granted on the basis that the top-ranked tennis pro had recently contracted COVID-19, but it was canceled on Thursday after the government found that he “failed to provide the appropriate evidence” to meet entry requirements, according to one report. 

Djokovic announced Tuesday that he would be participating in the Australian Open after being granted a medical exemption that would allow him to enter the country. News of this prompted a firestorm of backlash after the government of Victoria, where Melbourne Park is located, previously mandated full vaccinations for all players, staff and fans unless there is a genuine medical reason.

NOVAK DJOKOVIC SUPPORTERS SHOW UP AT MELBOURNE HOTEL WHERE HE’S BELIEVED TO BE HELD

A Novak Djokovic supporter displays anti-vaccination signage on Jan. 6, 2022, as they gather outside Park Hotel in Melbourne, Australia, where Djokovic was taken pending his removal from the country.
(Diego Fedele/Getty Images)

Djokovic was detained after arriving in Melbourne on Wednesday night and his visa was eventually canceled after the Australian Border Force (ABF) said he “failed to provide appropriate evidence to meet the entry requirements to Australia.”

According to The Age, Djokovic’s reason for the exemption was that he had contracted COVID-19 in the past six months, but this reason was rejected by the ABF. Sources told the outlet that his evidence to support the medical exemption was considered “minimal” and supported by just one doctor. 

Novak Djokovic of Serbia in action during the Davis Cup Finals 2021 on Dec. 3, 2021, in Madrid, Spain.

Novak Djokovic of Serbia in action during the Davis Cup Finals 2021 on Dec. 3, 2021, in Madrid, Spain.
(Oscar Gonzalez/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The medical exemption was reportedly granted in November. Djokovic and his wife announced in June that they had both tested positive for COVID-19. While he has declined to publicly comment on what his vaccination status is, he previously said in April that he is “opposed to the vaccination against COVID-19 in order to travel.” 

CLICK HERE FOR MORE SPORTS COVERAGE ON FOXNEWS.COM

Djokovic remains in detention at a hotel in Melbourne where he can remain until Monday. He was granted an interim injunction on Thursday in hopes of preventing deportation. 

The ABF is investigating at least one other player and an official that were also granted medical exemptions after Team Australia alleged that several other Australian Open participants were granted a medical exemption on the basis of recently contracting COVID-19, The Age reported. 

Serbia's Novak Djokovic holds the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup after defeating Russia's Daniil Medvedev in the men's singles final at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne on Feb. 21, 2021.

Serbia’s Novak Djokovic holds the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup after defeating Russia’s Daniil Medvedev in the men’s singles final at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne on Feb. 21, 2021.
(AP Photo/Hamish Blair, File)

Prime Minister Scott Morrison spoke out about Djokovic’s situation on Thursday saying “rules are rules.”

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

“No one is above these rules,” he said in a statement. “Our strong border policies have been critical to Australia having one of the lowest death rates in the world from COVID, We are continuing to be vigilant.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.