Novak Djokovic released from detention in Australia & his visa was reinstated

TENNIS : Wimbledon 2021 - 06/07/2021

Novak Djokovic is out of the detention/quarantine hotel. Novak was placed in some kind of border-security custody at the hotel, where he was unable to leave, train, practice or deal face-to-face with his team. On Monday morning – and into the afternoon, this was a day-long affair – the judge in Novak’s case said he should be released from detainment because border security officers jumped the gun initially. Basically, Novak was released on a technicality for now, and his visa has been temporarily reinstated, but the government could – and likely will – try to cancel his visa again.

Novak Djokovic, the Serbian tennis star, moved one step closer to competing for his record 21st Grand Slam title after an Australian judge ordered his release from immigration detention on Monday, ending a five-day saga over his refusal to be vaccinated for Covid-19.

The judge, Anthony Kelly, found that Djokovic had been treated unfairly after his arrival at a Melbourne airport for the Australian Open, where he had been cleared to play with a vaccination exemption. After detaining Djokovic, the border authorities promised to let him speak with tournament organizers and his lawyers early Thursday morning, only to cancel his visa before he was given a chance.

Restoring the visa does not, however, guarantee that Djokovic will be able to vie for his 10th Open title when the tournament begins next Monday. In court, the government’s lawyers warned that the immigration minister could still cancel his visa, which would lead to an automatic three-year ban.

[From The NY Times]

It is what it is – I halfway believe that by dragging this out so close to the Australian Open (which begins in a week), the Australian government and Tennis Australia were making some deals behind the scenes to get Novak’s visa reinstated anyway. Also, the reports of Novak being “arrested” are false. He was released from the detention hotel and he is (apparently) reuniting with his team in a hotel in Melbourne.

Now, all that being said, Novak looks worse following the hearing – there was confusion about his medical exemption, which he got because he allegedly tested positive for Covid on December 16th. Novak was photographed on the 16th and 17th at public events, with kids and other people, all of whom were maskless (as was Novak). He was also at a magazine photoshoot (maskless) on the 18th. As it turns out, Novak did find out the results of his Covid test on December 16th, seven hours after he took the test. So he was knowingly unvaccinated, Covid-positive and maskless around dozens of children and hundreds of adults in Belgrade. Disgusting.

PS… I’m including a God-level tweet from Andy Murray, who was talking about Nigel Bloody Farage cozying up to the Djokovic family.

Skepticism and anger greet Novak Djokovic’s vaccine exemption **FILE PHOTOS**

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid.

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45 Responses to “Novak Djokovic released from detention in Australia & his visa was reinstated”

  1. Ariel says:

    If he stays and plays the Australian govt has basically said- vaccines don’t matter for the rich. Let them spread disease and kill less important people.

    • Seaflower says:

      The thing is, they’ve been letting other rich people in and out during the pandemic, and for them to quarantine where they want to as opposed to the designated hotels. It’s well known that the PM has already established one rule for us and one for them.

      • msd says:

        True, and that made people very grumpy but at least they quarantined and paid for it, reducing stress on government hotel quarantine. Some big people also hired planes so they didn’t take the place of a citizen trying to return. The whole system favoured wealth, just like the world does. You could always get a flight if you could pay top bucks. The pandemic only illuminated and amplified inequality.

  2. Seaflower says:

    The Andy Murray tweet about Farage was gold.

    • Léna says:

      It was gold! But honestly, Djokovic’s parents most likely do not care about anything but themselves and their son.

      • msd says:

        They genuinely think he’s a god. His father is really quite mad, though, which almost makes me feel sorry for Novak. Imagine growing up with that? The grand tradition of Terrible Tennis Tyrant Fathers continues. Apparently Serbs don’t like his Dad and his wife, they just love him. Anyone confirm?

      • S says:

        Yes, MSD, I can confirm. This is crazy, and people in Serbia do not like it. His father is making fool out of himself, no dignity, reason, nothing… People here are joking like, it’s ok, he just need another expensive car. Idiots. And don’ t get me started with Novak breaking carantine, wa are all just so mad.

  3. Laalaa says:

    OMG, ANDY! PREACH!
    That man is the true MVP.

    As for Đoković…. no words. Deeply disgusted and saddened.

  4. Becky Mae says:

    In the meantime, there are asylum seekers in that very same hotel that the government have left languishing for 9 years….. It’s disgusting.

    I think the minister will cancel his visa tomorrow, the government here isn’t very popular right now, they are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. I cannot wait to vote them out!!

  5. Bros says:

    Man this guy is gross. Just a pox on society. The farage tweet is golden. What a loser farage is, star-f@cker trying to be cool by association with this guy’s brother? Ooh sweet, you hung out for an hour with oprah’s sister? Cool dude.

  6. Tiffany says:

    That picture that TheAge.com chose really sums it all up.

    And kudos Andy Murray. You do you and you do it well.

  7. Normades says:

    Guy knowingly had Covid and didn’t quarantine…he is even more disgusting than previously thought.

    • Sof says:

      At this point I don’t believe anything he says, so I throw out there that the no. 1 ATP player has plenty of resources to falsify a positive test result in order to get away with being unvaccinated. And given there are weird doctors who don’t believe in covid or vaccines it’s easy for him to be backed up.

      • Cc says:

        If he was going to fake a false positive, wouldn’t he date it before the December 10th cutoff?
        I don’t follow sports, so I don’t know just how dumb/arrogant this guy generally is.

      • Erin says:

        Oh absolutely. We plebes don’t know half of what the rich get away with.

      • Brita says:

        There is evidence that the positive result of the Dec. 16 test was falsified. The QR code led to a website that showed a negative result. People started posting about it on twitter. Then the result flipped back and forth between positive and negative, and now reads positive. The Serbian testing is corrupt and they are cheating.

  8. J ferber says:

    Wonder if he quarantined from his own kids when he knowingly exposed maskless, most likely unvaccinated, kids and parents uninformed of his positive Covid status. Let him NEVER say again that he cares about children, or anybody else for that matter. True scum with 220 million dollars. Never in a million years would Federer and Nada do the same. Class and humanity cannot be bought. Disgusted. He’ll have no problem getting into the U.S. on his Covid tour. Cretin with bucks.

  9. msd says:

    I posted this late on the other thread but might as well post here, too.

    But first. I think Novak might, maybe give a tearful press conference and then leave, preserving his martyrdom for his supporters. It’s a toxic circus now and it won’t die down.

    And also, Sir Andy Murray is gold. He was never an early fave of mine but he gets better and better. And he’s practically the only guy who genuinely loves women’s tennis and advocates for it.

    As for the Covid exemption drama .. there are still way too many questions.

    L’equipe ran a story that Novak did a photo shoot with them on 18 Dec after testing positive 16 Dec, and there were photos of him out and about on 22 or 23 Dec. So it’s super, super tight. Like 4 or 5 days. That doesn’t seem like enough time to be isolating with Covid but I don’t know what the rules are in Serbia.

    It’s very suspicious but maybe God gave him Covid so he could come to Australia straight after Tennis Australia informed the players about potentially getting medically exempt from vaccination if you had Covid. Ha. Would he or his seriously loopy Dad arrange to pretend to have it a second time in December? That’s seems extreme even for him.

    I hate the current conservative Australian government so I’m glad they have eggs on their faces but I also hate a rich entitled anti-vaxxer bending the rules and getting away with it. Such a dilemma! Same with ABF, who stopped him. I’m glad they stopped him but they’re not the good guys, they’re immigration stooges who enforce very bad policy.

    Melbourne is the craziest place to have this happen right now: it’s a city of extremes, both good and bad, in a generally more chilled out country. It’s had the longest lockdown, it’s where wacky conspiracy theorists have been having protests. I love the city but it’s … tense. The only good thing is the international press has also reported on the country’s harsh, arbitrary treatment of asylum seekers. So many people didn’t give a toss until a tennis player was in the same place – for only three days! People have been there years.

    Craig Tiley, the head of Tennis Australia, is, second to Novak, the person ultimately responsible for this complete disaster. He’s friends with ND, generally obsessed with star players and got tunnel vision. All the guy had to do was stick to the vaccine mandate as he publicly promised the Australian public, who are heavily pro-vax. But no, he spent months lobbying to sidestep it for Novak. And let’s not pretend it was for a Czech doubles player or a random umpire. Then he acted surprised everyone got upset. After his disingenuous behaviour with quarantine, and his silly games with bushfire smoke the year before, that’s three years of straight drama at the Happy Slam.

    • Demi says:

      lived in Melb before the pandemic 2015-2017 I love the city so much and it has a special place in my heart but boy even then there were lots of problems such as homelessness, mental health, drug infected areas, rise of mental health problems among residents, toxic workplaces racism alcohol violence ect ect I think the pandemic & lockdown made things worse possibly..
      About Novac the government and the Home affairs are lying I came to study as a foreign student on a student visa I can assure you meeting medical conditions is part of the visa process I had to go through a medical checkup just for the visa way before booking a ticket. Once you get your visa sorted then you proceed to book a ticket. They approved his visa& medical exemption meaning he was all good to go until the backlash started, then they changed their mind and canceled his visa. Things went downhill for both parties after that

      • msd says:

        Sydney girl here but I love it too. Very different cities in many ways. You get massive anti-lockdown loony protests in Melbourne, but also the biggest BLM protests in Australia. Sydney just sort of shrugs either way – too much sunshine, let’s go to the beach. People often compare it a LA v NY vibe and that has some truth!

  10. Sof says:

    What I argued with my family since the drama started: there’s no way Djokovic and his team would have taken a chance and risk being kicked out of the country. Someone granted him he’d play, that’s why he travelled and insisted on taking the case to court.

    • RandomPerson says:

      Exactly. There are millions of dollars in prize and payoff money at stake here, and it wouldn’t surprise me if he, ahem, paid for that positive Covid test as his ticket to play. It could be why he didn’t bother to isolate? He’s still an ahole, though.

    • ML says:

      Exactly. I’m a US citizen, but my husband is not. A few years ago, the US introduced the Esta requirements: as a foreigner you need to register online before flying to the US. They will not let you fly to the States without this.
      Australia has certain requirements as well and they’re really strict. No one would have let Djokovic fly over without the right paperwork and that required the cooperation of the tennis association, Victoria, and the federal government.
      Djokovic is messy. If they allow him to stay after he’s posted pics of his supposed sick self in public back in December, that sends a very interesting message. He also supposedly got corona AFTER December 10, which was supposedly the cut off day.

  11. Barbie1 says:

    Damn that judge ruined my dream of deportation. I was so looking forward to it.

  12. Louisa says:

    So he either faked a positive test in order to get an exemption or he really was +ve and knowingly risked passing it on to others including children? The guy is just utter garbage.

  13. Greenfingers says:

    The rules are just for us common folk. Australia a country very strict with border laws, and they just let an unvaccinated person in to the detention centers (hmm), and in to the country. Unbelievable

    Im outraged, and livid.

  14. Kat says:

    Hey Siri, play “Whatareya?” by TISM.

    (Cannot stand NoVax or the idiots who stan him).

  15. Brita says:

    I don’t believe that he tested positive on December 16. He paid a doctor to lie and submit that as part of his ploy to get a medical exemption. He is a liar and a fraud and should be bounced out of there immediately.

    What are the vaccination requirements for the other Grand Slams? How many times will he use the I-just-had-COVID excuse?

  16. EviesMom says:

    The only silver lining here is that Novak actually came out PROVING that he’s a bigger @ssh@le than anyone thought possible.

  17. PoppedBubble says:

    Looking at Novak’s eyes tells you everything one needs to know about him.

  18. Fernanda says:

    His parents are the worst. Honestly, seeing his dad I kind of think that Novak turned OK, all things considered. Imagine having to deal with that level of crazy publicly throughout the years. A nightmare.

    • Miranda says:

      Ooh, how is his dad crazy? (I actually kinda hate tennis, but I’m fascinated that being an asshole appears to be so prevalent in this particular sport, so I do enjoy the background stories.)

  19. jferber says:

    Miranda, his dad compared his son to Jesus and Spartacus, demanded “fighting in the street,” and his mother said Novak was “tortured.” So yeah, crazy as hell. Delusional too.

    • Novaroux says:

      Also, his family held a press conference earlier today, which they abruptly ended when a reporter asked them about his attending events maskless while he allegedly had Covid. And from what I saw, the false info that he was being arrested again after the hearing in which his visa was reinstated came from his father, a journalist tweeted it after talking to him.
      They’re all horrible, but the father in particular is a piece of work.

  20. notasugarhere says:

    I hope Hawke comes through, throws him out, and he’s banned from Australia for three years. It would serve (tennis pun intended) his rabid anti-vaxx a$$ right.

  21. TarteAuCitron says:

    I have not much to add other than the more I read about this guy, the more I dislike him.
    OK, he is a skilled sportsman, but that doesn’t make him an essential worker who *has* to be allowed into the country. Australian border control are so strict about what food you can bring in, never mind infections.

  22. CROOKSNNANNIES says:

    Djokovic is an unrepentant asshole, and I’m honestly shocked these adults/children went to see him in Belgrade. I’d think you’d know with his reputation he could not be trusted and doesn’t care. I pray no one who saw him on the 16th or 17th was infected, but hopefully this will make people think twice about going to laud this guy.

  23. Lex says:

    Make him take a PCR test. If he had Covid under a month ago, it would likely still show up

  24. crummycake says:

    I’m torn – 99% of me wants Novak kicked out of Australia for 3 years with a cancelled visa, but 1% of me is craving to see the display of “love” he is most assuredly going to receive from spectators at the Australian Open. I’ll be sitting in my recliner watching with a big ole bowl of popcorn and a smile. I have never liked this guy (especially compared to class acts like Murry, Nadal and Federer), and at EVERY turn Novak and his crazy family only reinforce my conclusions that he is not a decent human being. Yuck. . . just yuck.

    • Col says:

      The thing is he plays really well when he’s cast as the villain. He’ll be super determined here.

    • Fernanda says:

      I don’t know about that though… there are a lot of anti-vaxxers out there that consider him to be their leader now. He got a lot of support in the last few days, from all parts of the world, Australia included. So, who knows if he would really be booed.

      • ML says:

        @Fernanda, If you look at who attends tennis matches (generally richer, better educated, white), the possibility that Djokovic would get booed is really quite high. That demographic is far more likely to be vaxxed as well. If you look up the vaccination rates in Australia, Victoria and Melbourne, the same conclusion can be made.
        Australia mishandled this by letting Djokovic fly over in the first place; he certainly wasn’t hiding how he felt! And they mishandled this at the airport as well.
        The thing is, Djokovic supposedly tested positive and yet there is tons of evidence that he appeared in public when “infectious.” He got an exemption (from the vaccine mandate) after the cutoff date to apply for the Australian Open. He traveled in the 2 weeks when he should have been in quarantine. Considering all Djokovic himself did wrong, it’s kind of hard to make an argument he should be allowed to stay, no?

      • Fernanda says:

        I hear you, but anti-vaxxer crowd is not exactly known for being reasonable and for recognising scientific proofs. Also, being upper class and educated does not guarantee that these people are indeed vaxxed (speaking generally, I don’t know how it is in Australia). I was surprised to learn how many educated people refuse to get jabbed.

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