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Ladybbird 06-01-22 07:19

Djokovic Has 80% Stake in Firm Developing Covid Drug
Novak Djokovic’s Australian Open Hopes Dashed After Visa Cancelled at Airport

World No 1 will be flown out of Australia after being detained

Australian PM says ‘no special rules’ despite medical exemption

The Guardian UK .6 JAN 2022.


Novak Djokovic’s ‘medical exemption’ prompted a backlash from politicians and the public, with his visa now confirmed to have been cancelled.

Novak Djokovic’s attempts to compete at the Australian Open this month have collapsed after the No 1-ranked male tennis player was told his visa has been rejected. He is due to be flown out of Melbourne on Thursday amid a spiralling outcry over a controversial “medical exemption” agreed by the tournament’s organisers.

The reigning Australian Open champion was held up for several hours at passport control on Wednesday night at Tullamarine airport in Melbourne, the host city of the tournament, as he was questioned.

Ladybbird 07-01-22 16:32

re: Djokovic Admits HOT Isolating After Positive Covid Result & Blames Agent for Mistake
Refuge, Detained in Same Hotel as Novak Djokovic, Speaks About Situation

Novak Djokovic: Refugees hope tennis star’s hotel detention will cast light on their ‘torture’

BBC, 7 JAN 2022

Adnan Choopani has spoken about conditions in the facility that he has been in for the last 29 months.

Choopani, an Iranian who was first detained in Australia nine years ago when he was 15, said refugees staying in the hotel had no access to fresh air or space to exercise and they were kept under guard 24 hours a day.

'To be honest the conditions day by day are getting worse because we've been kept in a limbo and indefinite detention,' Choopani said.

Djokovic is staying on the floor below the refugees, who are housed on the second floor, as he awaits a court hearing over his visa cancellation.

Ladybbird 10-01-22 07:30

re: Djokovic Admits HOT Isolating After Positive Covid Result & Blames Agent for Mistake
Novak Djokovic: Judge Orders IMMEDIATE Release of Tennis Star...:clapper::clapper::clapper:

Novak Djokovic in Visa Court Victory

The judge hearing Novak Djokovic's challenge to an order by the Australian government revoking his entry visa has dramatically overturned the decision.

BBC News .10 JAN 2022.


Supporters of Novak Djokovic have been protesting outside the courthouse throughout proceedings

Judge Anthony Kelly ordered the release of the tennis star from detention, and told the government to pay his costs.

The 34-year-old Serbian player flew into Melbourne last week, hoping to defend his Australian Open title.

But Immigration Minister Alex Hawke could still cancel his visa on new grounds.

Earlier, Judge Kelly said it seemed the tennis star had obtained the necessary exemption to travel restrictions prior to his arrival in the country.

The government acknowledged in court that Djokovic was not given enough time to respond following the notification to cancel his visa.

The trial began on Monday morning after delays caused by technical issues with a live stream of proceedings.

Lawyers for Djokovic argued that the 20-time Grand Slam winner entered the country on the understanding that his exemption from restrictions requiring travellers to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 was valid.

Nick Wood told the court that the exemption had been granted to the player by two separate medical boards following a recent coronavirus infection and that he had presented all the necessary medical evidence to officials.

"He had done absolutely everything. He had engaged with everything that was required of him by Tennis Australia," Mr Wood said.

Judge Kelly appeared to agree with Mr Wood's argument and told government lawyers that he felt "agitated" by what he had heard so far.

"What more could this man have done?" he asked.

Djokovic's lawyers have also argued that his treatment by Australian Border Force officers after his arrival was "manifestly unjust".

After being approached by officials at the airport, he asked to wait until the morning to hear from his team before deciding whether to leave the country. This was initially agreed to by officials.

He then went to sleep, but was woken up around 06:00 by officers who allegedly pressured him to respond "because it was better for him if they made the decision right away".

Government lawyer Christopher Tran argued that Djokovic's recent Covid infection did not qualify him for an exemption from travel rules, and denied there was any unfairness or unreasonableness in the decision.

Ladybbird 12-01-22 11:58

Re: Djokovic Admits HOT Isolating After Positive Covid Result & Blames Agent for Mist
Novak Djokovic Blames Agent for Australian Paperwork ‘Mistake’ and Admits NOT Isolating After Positive Covid Result

Djokovic in Instagram statement fails to address media reports which have raised questions over his 16 December positive PCR result

BBC News 12 JAN 2022.


Djokovic has been preparing for the Australian Open since a judge overturned the government's decision to cancel his visa

Tennis star Novak Djokovic has admitted there were mistakes on his immigration forms and to meeting a journalist despite testing positive for Covid, as Australia mulls deporting him.

Djokovic made the admissions in an Instagram post to clarify "ongoing misinformation" about his movements.

The men's tennis number one is hoping to play in the Australian Open next week.

But his participation has been overshadowed by a row over his visa.

Djokovic, who is unvaccinated, had his visa revoked on 6 January shortly after arriving in Australia amid questions over the vaccine exemption that would have permitted him to enter.

On Monday, however, a judge dramatically overturned the decision and ordered the release of the player from detention.

But the government has not ruled out further action - and the possibility remains that the country's immigration minister could cancel his visa for a second time just days before the tournament begins.

Alex Hawke could cancel the visa based on prior Covid infections not counting as an exemption. But Djokovic's visa could also be cancelled on "character grounds" based on an investigation into his arrival form and potential breaches of Serbia's Covid rules.

If Djokovic wins the Australian Open - his 21st grand slam - he would become the most successful male tennis player in history.

In his Instagram post, Djokovic said he went ahead with the interview, with French title L'Equipe, because he "didn't want to let the journalist down".

"[I ensured] I socially distanced and wore a mask except when my photograph was being taken," he said.

L'Equipe confirmed in an article that the tennis star wore a mask the entire time, even when their reporter asked him to take it off for five minutes.

The journalist, Franck Ramella, said that he had been told not to ask Djokovic about his vaccination status or the upcoming Australian Open so "therefore did not ask if he had considered doing a test".

"Even if we did ask, what would be the point?" Mr Ramella wrote.

Djokovic also admitted making a false declaration on his travel form prior to entering Australia and said his team has provided additional information to authorities.

He said his agent had made a mistake when filling in a section of the form that covered his recent travel history. The form stated that he had not travelled in the 14 days before his arrival in Australia.

But recent reports suggest the 34-year-old had travelled to Serbia and then to Spain prior to the trip.

"My agent sincerely apologises for the administrative mistake in ticking the incorrect box," he wrote. "This was a human error and certainly not deliberate."

The tennis star denied attending two events - the unveiling of a Djokovic stamp and an awards ceremony that was attended by children - while infected with Covid.

He wrote on Instagram that he had taken a PCR test on 16 December after attending a basketball match two days before, where a number of people later tested positive.

Djokovic said that he had taken a rapid antigen test before attending both events and was only notified that his PCR was positive after attending the awards ceremony on 17 December.

Australia's Border Force, the nation's immigration officials, said on Tuesday they were investigating whether he had made a "false declaration" - which would be grounds for a visa cancellation.

The men's professional tennis tour has called for more clarity of the rules to enter Australia and urged players to get vaccinated.

Analysis by Shaimaa Khalil, Australia correspondent

Another Twist in The Saga

It feels like every time something is revealed about the Djokovic saga the story becomes less clear. I was watching Novak Djokovic train this morning. And only a few minutes after we left the court everyone's phone lit up.

In his statement Djokovic addressed two points.

The first is about his Covid19 infection. While admitting he broke isolation rules does not affect his deportation prospects it certainly doesn't look good.

For Australians who've had to deal with some of the world's strictest Covid19 rules, this is a world-famous athlete who has publicly said he's against getting vaccinated and has now revealed that he violated isolation rules while he was infected.

The other central admission is of providing the wrong information in his travel declaration document.

Djokovic called it a human error, but will the border force officials accept that? We know they're looking at other information provided by Novak's team now.

The Australian Open starts in a few days and there's still no guarantee he'll be able to defend his title.

Ladybbird 14-01-22 21:22

re: Novak Djokovic Finally Deported From Australia
Novak Djokovic Kicked Out of Australian Open as Visa Cancelled for Second Ttime

Daily Mirror 14 JAN 2022

Novak Djokovic has finally discovered his fate at the Australian Open after several days of uncertainty surrounding his participation at the event, and faces another lengthy legal battle.

The decision comes after several remarkable days of uncertainty over his participation in the event, all caused by his refusal to get vaccinated against Covid-19.

Ladybbird 15-01-22 11:20

re: Novak Djokovic Finally Deported From Australia
Novak Djokovic Detained by Border Force Following Interview at 'Secret Location'

Novak Djokovic's interview with immigration officials got underway at an undisclosed location at 8am local time on Saturday in Melbourne

Novak Djokovic Appeals Visa Cancellation

Daily Mirror 15 JAN 202

World No 1 Novak Djokovic has been detained by Border Force following his interview at a secret location as his fight to remain in Australia rumbles on.

Djokovic's name has dominated headlines over the past few weeks, in what has been a rollercoaster ride for the Serb ahead of the Australian Open.

On Friday, Australia's immigration minister Alex Hawke rejected Djokovic's visa for a second time - having initially had it revoked on arrival in Melbourne after receiving a medical exemption before a court hearing on Monday then ruled in his favour.

Djokovic has come under immense criticism in recent days - with it since emerging that he provided false information on his immigration forms when he landed in the country.

World No 1 Novak Djokovic is in for a nervous wait over the weekend

And his problems got a whole lot worse after the unvaccinated Serb admitted to deliberately breaking Covid isolation rules after testing positive for the virus on December 16.

Despite Hawke's decision, Djokovic and his lawyers aren't going down without a fight and he has now again appealed Friday's verdict - with a hearing set to take place in Melbourne on Sunday morning local time.

Before then, he was told to report for an interview with immigration officials before being sent back into a quarantine detention hotel - most likely the Park Hotel where he was forced to stay after originally having his visa revoked.

Novak Djokovic faces being 'frogmarched to airport under armed guard' over visa row

And according to the Daily Mail , Djokovic met up with Border Force at a secret location as he desperately looks to stay in Australia and land a record-breaking 21st Grand Slam title.

Djokovic began his interview with immigration officers at 8am local time on Saturday, and he will later attend a Federal Court hearing online - which will be overseen by Judge David O'Callaghan at his solicitors' office.

He has since been detained by Border Force following a court-ordered arrangement, that was agreed on Friday.

After the hearing, it will be back to the detention hotel for the world No 1.

Ladybbird 16-01-22 09:05

re: Novak Djokovic Finally Deported From Australia
Novak Djokovic to be Deported From Australia After Federal Court Upholds Visa Cancellation

Court unanimously dismisses Serbian tennis player’s challenge after immigration minister argued his presence would stoke anti-vaccination sentiment

The Guardian UK 16 JAN 2022.

Novak Djokovic will be deported from Australia ahead of the Australian Open after the full federal court dismissed the world No 1’s bid to restore his visa.

On Sunday the court rejected a challenge to the decision of Australian immigration minister, Alex Hawke, to cancel the visa on the basis Djokovic’s presence in Australia might risk “civil unrest” as he is a “talisman of anti-vaccination sentiment”.

Chief Justice James Allsop announced the court unanimously dismissed Djokovic’s application, with costs to be paid by the tennis star.

Allsop explained the decision of the court did not reflect on “the merits or wisdom of the decision” but rather whether it was so irrational as to be unlawful. Full reasons will follow at a later date.

The decision is a major setback for Djokovic’s quest to win a 10th Australian Open crown and a record 21st grand slam title.

In a statement Djokovic said he was “extremely disappointed” with the ruling, acknowledging it meant he “cannot stay in Australia and participate in the Australian Open”.

“I respect the court’s ruling and I will cooperate with the relevant authorities in relation to my departure from the country,” he said.

“I am uncomfortable that the focus of the past weeks has been on me and I hope that we can all now focus on the game and tournament I love.

“I would like to wish the players, tournament officials, staff, volunteers and fans all the best for the tournament.”

Djokovic said he intended to take some time to “rest and recuperate” before making any further comment.

Djokovic’s lawyers had argued Hawke’s decision was “illogical, irrational or unreasonable” and the minister based it on Djokovic’s public statements about vaccination without actually seeking his views.

In fresh submissions overnight, Djokovic’s lawyers added that Hawke had failed to consider the impact on anti-vaccination sentiment if his visa were cancelled.

In court on Sunday, the minister’s counsel, Stephen Lloyd, argued Australia “must not be bound to suffer the presence of an alien for fear of what might happen if they were removed”.

Use of the ministerial power to cancel a visa comes with a three-year ban on re-entering Australia, except in compelling circumstances, such as compassionate or Australian national interest grounds.

Djokovic arrived in Australia on the evening of 5 January. He believed that a visa granted on 18 November and a medical exemption approved by Tennis Australia and a Victorian government independent expert panel would be sufficient to enter Australia.

Djokovic’s visa was first cancelled by Australian Border Force hours after he arrived at Melbourne airport and he was taken to a detention hotel.

On Monday a federal circuit court judge restored Djokovic’s visa, concluding it was unreasonable for the ABF to renege on a deal to give him more time at the airport to address the exemption issue.

After a week’s deliberation, Hawke cancelled Djokovic’s visa again on Friday on the new ground that his presence might be a risk to “health and good order”.

In a statement, Hawke welcomed the unanimous decision, arguing that Australia’s “strong border protection policies” had both “kept us safe during the pandemic” and “are fundamental to safeguarding Australia’s social cohesion”.

“Australians have made great sacrifices to get to this point [in the pandemic] and the Morrison government is firmly committed to protecting this position, as the Australian people expect.”

The Australian prime minister, Scott Morrison, welcomed “the decision to keep our borders strong and keep Australians safe”. “It’s now time to get on with the Australian Open and get back to enjoying tennis over the summer.”

Reaction in Australia to the court result was mixed. The Labor opposition’s home affairs spokeswoman, Kristina Keneally, said the Morrison government had made itself “a laughing stock on the world stage”.

“The Morrison government’s own argument before the court was that Mr Djokovic’s visa should be cancelled because his presence here may foster anti-vaccination sentiment based on what he did and said before he was granted a visa,” Keneally said.

“This must prompt the question, why did Mr Morrison’s government grant him a visa to come to Australia in the first place?”

Australian tennis star, Nick Kyrgios, expressed disappointment with a face-palm emoji. He was one of few players who had called for Djokovic to be allowed to stay and play.

Ladybbird 16-01-22 18:36

re: Djokovic Has 80% Stake in Firm Developing Covid Drug
Novak Djokovic Finally Deported From Australia After Losing Final Appeal Over Visa

16 Jan 2022 The Sun

TENNIS ace Novak Djokovic has finally been deported from Australia after losing his final appeal against the cancellation of his visa.

The World No 1 was pictured at Melbourne Airport after he was finally given the boot amid the humiliating vaccine row that has rumbled on for nearly two weeks.

Novak Djokovic ‘extremely disappointed’ as judges kick anti-vax tennis star out of Australia over visa

Ladybbird 20-01-22 09:25

Re: Djokovic Has 80% Stake in Firm Developing Covid Drug
Djokovic Has 80% Stake in Biotech Firm Developing Covid Drug

QuantBioRes is working on a treatment not a vaccine, but CEO says tennis star is ‘not anti-vax’

The Guardian UK 20 JAN 2022.

Novak Djokovic is the controlling shareholder in a Danish biotech firm aiming to develop a treatment for Covid-19 that does not involve vaccination, it has emerged.

The world No 1, who was deported from Australia this week after the government cancelled his visa in a dispute over a medical exemption relating to his unvaccinated status, bought an 80% stake in QuantBioRes in 2020.

Ivan Loncarevic, the company’s chief executive, confirmed the investment to Reuters. He subsequently told the Financial Times that he had not spoken to Djokovic, who has won more than $150m in prize money, since November and that the tennis star was “not anti-vax”.

Djokovic flew out of Australia on Sunday after losing a legal challenge to overturn the cancellation of his visa by Alex Hawke, the country’s immigration minister, who said Djokovic’s presence in Australia might risk “civil unrest” as he was a “talisman of anti-vaccination sentiment”.

QuantBioRes has about 11 researchers working in Denmark, Australia and Slovenia, according to Loncarevic, who stressed the company was working on a treatment, not a vaccine. The company’s website says it started developing a “deactivation mechanism” for Covid-19 in July 2020.

Djokovic, who may also be barred from defending his French Open title in Roland Garros in May after the French government ruled on Monday that all athletes will have to be vaccinated in order to attend and compete in sporting events, acquired his stake in the company in June 2020.

The company is developing a peptide, which inhibits the coronavirus from infecting the human cell, and it expects to launch clinical trials in Britain this summer, Loncarevic said.

A spokesperson for Djokovic did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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