Live Updates: Novak Djokovic’s Visa Canceled Again by Australia

Credit…Mark Baker/Associated Press

Novak Djokovic, the Serbian tennis star, had his visa revoked for a second time by the Australian authorities on Friday, the most recent dizzying volley in a drawn-out drama over his refusal to be vaccinated for Covid-19.

Australia’s immigration minister, Alex Hawke, mentioned in a press release that he was canceling Djokovic’s visa on the grounds of “health and good order,” including that it was within the public curiosity to take action.

Hawke took the motion 4 days after Djokovic received a authorized victory that freed him from immigration detention, the place he had been held since arriving at a Melbourne airport final week.

The minister provided no additional particulars about his determination to revoke the visa, aside from to say that the Australian authorities was dedicated to defending the nation’s borders through the pandemic.

It was unclear what would occur subsequent, with the beginning of the Australian Open three days away. Djokovic may return to court docket to hunt to have the choice overturned, however authorized specialists mentioned he may need little likelihood of success after profitable his first spherical in court docket on slender procedural grounds.

Mary Crock, a legislation professor on the University of Sydney, mentioned it will be “very, very hard” for Djokovic to win any attraction. “The rules of natural justice and procedure don’t apply,” she mentioned. So the one approach he may attraction could be to show there isn’t a public-interest foundation on which the visa may have been canceled.

A federal investigation led by Hawke had revealed that Djokovic offered false information on the paperwork he gave to frame officers when he tried to enter the nation final week.

Those paperwork didn’t state that Djokovic, who lives in Monte Carlo, had traveled between Serbia and Spain through the 14 days forward of his arrival in Australia.

In a post on social media on Wednesday, Djokovic acknowledged the misstatements and addressed questions on his actions within the days earlier than and after his optimistic check for the coronavirus on Dec. 16. That check end result allowed him to achieve an exemption from state well being officers in Victoria to play within the Australian Open.

Djokovic’s assertion learn as each a determined request for leniency and an evidence for irresponsible conduct by a star athlete unaccustomed to being held accountable. He mentioned {that a} member of his assist crew had made a “human error” when filling out his paperwork. He additionally mentioned he had made a poor determination to undergo with an in-person interview and picture shoot with a French sports activities publication after testing positive for the coronavirus.

Franck Ramella, a reporter with the French sports activities newspaper L’Equipe, wrote this week that when he performed the interview on Dec. 18, he didn’t know that Djokovic had only recently examined optimistic for the coronavirus.

Credit…Lukas Coch/EPA, by way of Shutterstock

Djokovic mentioned he was not but conscious that he had examined optimistic when he attended a tennis occasion on Dec. 17 in Belgrade, the Serbian capital, the place he introduced awards to kids. But the file of his optimistic check reveals that he took the check at 1:05 p.m. on Dec. 16 and obtained the optimistic end result seven hours later.

“I just want to have the opportunity to compete against the best players in the world and perform before one of the best crowds in the world,” Djokovic mentioned within the put up.

Earlier this week, it appeared that Djokovic would be capable to do this, despite the fact that he would most probably be the one unvaccinated participant within the males’s match. On Thursday, he was put in because the No. 1 seed within the males’s bracket.

On Monday afternoon, a choose discovered that Djokovic had been handled unfairly upon his arrival late on Jan. 5 at a Melbourne airport, the place he was questioned for hours and denied a promised likelihood to contact his attorneys or Australian Open officers.

The choose ordered that Djokovic’s visa be restored, liberating him from the lodge for refugees and asylum seekers the place he had been held for 5 days and clearing a path for him to compete for a file twenty first Grand Slam match title.

Credit…Loren Elliott/Reuters

Australian tennis officers had granted Djokovic the vaccination exemption, in session with state officers, to play within the match, which begins on Monday in Melbourne. But border officers canceled his visa with the assist of Prime Minister Scott Morrison, saying that Djokovic remained topic to a requirement that everybody getting into the nation be absolutely vaccinated.

The court docket ruling didn’t put an finish to the case, however moderately shifted its focus to Djokovic’s supporting paperwork, the legitimacy of his coronavirus check and fundamental questions on what Djokovic knew about his analysis and when he knew it.

Legally, Hawke, the immigration minister, can cancel a visa on character grounds or if he finds data to be false, or if he believes the visa’s recipient poses a well being or security threat. Hawke made his determination as Australia is within the midst of its worst bout with the coronavirus.

Mike Ives contributed reporting.

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