Djokovic admits Covid 'mistakes,' visa still in doubt after latest twists to Australia saga

Novak Djokovic admitted Wednesday that he made a false statement on his travel form to enter Australia and failed to isolate himself immediately after testing positive for Covid-19 last month.

The latest twists and turns in the tennis star’s Visa saga came as government officials continued to consider whether to deport him out of the country before next week Australian Open.

Djokovic, 34, made the approvals in an Instagram post When he tried to address what he called “persistent misinformation” about his movements after his test positive on December 16, his lawyers gave him grounds for a medical exception to enter Australia and participate in the tournament, even though he was not vaccinated .

His exception was denied and the visa revoked, with the Serbian star held in immigration detention before a judge ordered his release earlier this week. The turmoil has rocked the tennis world and fueled the global debate over vaccination regulations against Covid-19.

In his post, Djokovic said he attended a basketball game in Belgrade on December 14, which triggered a series of positive Covid-19 tests. Although he had no symptoms, Djokovic said, he took a rapid antigen test on December 16, which came back negative. But out of “the power of caution” he did a PCR test on the same day.

Before it turned out positive, he said he had attended a tennis event in the Serbian capital the next day to present the children with prizes.

After Djokovic received his positive result on December 17, he said he had canceled all of his commitments except for a long-term interview and photo shoot with the French sports newspaper L’Equipe.

“I felt obliged to keep going … but made sure to keep myself socially distant and wear a mask unless my photo was taken,” added the tennis star. “I went home after the interview to isolate myself for the time required, but after deliberation it was a misjudgment.”

Djokovic also blamed “human error” on his support team for a mistake on his travel declaration form for entry into Australia.

On the form, Djokovic said he had not traveled in the 14 days prior to his flight to Australia, despite being seen in Spain and Serbia during that two week period.

The tennis star said the mistake was “certainly not intentional”.

“My agent sincerely apologizes for the administrative error in ticking the wrong box,” he added in his post.

Djokovic tried to clear his actions after a series of media reports checked his travel documents and movements before coming to Australia.

The saga left many Australians outraged, with the Omicron variant sparking a new wave of cases in the country after months of public freedom of movement and travel restrictions that kept many families apart.

Novak Djokovic during a training session in Melbourne Park. Darrian Traynor / Getty Images

The world number 1 held another training session in Melbourne on Wednesday but it is not yet clear if he can stay in the country to play at the Australian Open next week. The draw for the tournament is to take place on Thursday.

Australian Immigration Minister Alex Hawke still has the power to revoke Djokovic’s visa and deport him. His office confirmed to NBC News Tuesday that the minister was “considering” the move under a section of the country’s migration law.

The Australian Border Force declined to comment on whether it was investigating Djokovic’s inconsistencies and movements in the travel declaration prior to his arrival in the country, but added that providing false or misleading information or documents could result in the visa being canceled.

The tennis star said his team provided additional information to the Australian government on Wednesday “to resolve the matter”.

NBC News has reached out to Djokovic’s representatives for comment.

Associated press and Carolin Sri-Narayana contributed.

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