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

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.

— Mike Dickson (@Mike_Dickson_DM) January 10, 2022

Govt wont make decision to deport him tonight per @Gallo_Ways

Immigration Minister had 4h to cancel before he was freed from detention

Decision to cancel can still be made but will be tomorrow or in days after

— Paul Sakkal (@paulsakkal) January 10, 2022

— Andy Murray (@andy_murray) January 9, 2022

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid.

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