Djokovic admits he did not immediately isolate himself after testing positive for Covid
In a statement posted to social media, he also apologized for a seemingly false travel claim, saying it was submitted on his behalf by a member of his support staff through “human error.”
Djokovic has been embroiled in controversy since his arrest in Australia last week over a visa and vaccination dispute.
“I want to talk about the continued disinformation about my activities and my participation in events in December in the run-up to my positive Covid PCR test result,” he said in the statement.
“This is misinformation that needs to be corrected, especially in the interest of alleviating wider community concerns about my presence in Australia, and addressing issues of great hurt and concern to my family.
“I want to stress that I have gone to great lengths to ensure everyone’s safety and my compliance with testing obligations.”
Djokovic said he attended a basketball game in the Serbian capital, Belgrade, on December 14, where many people subsequently tested positive. He showed no symptoms, but was tested on December 16. On December 17, before receiving his official test result, he took a rapid test that came back negative and attended a youth tennis awards ceremony – after which he received the official positive result. , according to the press release.
The next day, December 18, he did a media interview and photoshoot, claiming he continued because “I didn’t want to let the reporter down.” He distanced himself socially and wore a mask except for the photoshoot, he added.
“While I returned home after the interview to isolate myself for the required period, after reflection, it was an error in judgment and I accept that I should have postponed this engagement”, a- he declared.
Following the news of his positive result, Djokovic received a lot of criticism for photographs showing him at these various events – often unmasked and around children.
His statement on Wednesday that he did not know his positive Covid status until December 17 also contradicts the words of his brother, who said at a press conference on Tuesday that the player had tested positive on December 16 and knew his result.
In an interview with Australian and CNN-affiliated broadcaster Seven Network on Wednesday, Djokovic’s mother said he “probably” didn’t know he tested positive before attending the events.
Even the Serbian authorities, who staunchly defended Djokovic and denounced his temporary detention throughout the ordeal, acknowledged the controversy.
“It would be a flagrant violation of the rules because if you know you are positive you will have to be isolated,” Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabić told the BBC – but added “there is a gray area” because there is no was not clear when Djokovic received his results.
Djokovic also addressed the controversy over a seemingly bogus travel claim.
Although he said he had not traveled in the 14 days before he arrived in Australia, photos taken during that time appear to show him in both Spain and Serbia.
In the statement, he apologized for the false statement, saying it was submitted “by my support team on my behalf”, calling it “human error and certainly not willful”. He declined to comment further, adding only that he hoped to play at the Australian Open and “face the best players in the world”.
The penalty for submitting a false travel declaration carries a maximum sentence of 12 months in prison, according to the Australian Home Office website.
“As publicly reported, Minister Hawke is considering canceling Mr Djokovic’s visa under section 133C (3) of the Migration Act,” a spokesperson for Immigration Minister Alex said on Wednesday. Hawke. “Mr. Djokovic’s lawyers recently provided lengthy additional submissions and supporting documents that would be relevant to the possible cancellation of Mr. Djokovic’s visa. Naturally, this will affect the decision timeframe.”
Although the judge overturned the cancellation of Djokovic’s visa, Hawke could still exercise his personal power to revoke it, which could lead to another legal deadlock.