Australian government canceled the visa for tennis star Novak Djokovic for a second time on Friday, questioning his participation in the Australian Open.
Alex Hawk, Director of Immigration Bureau, announced his decision around 6 pm. In local time, the Australian Government said, “We are committed to protecting the Australian border.”
“Today I exercised my power under section 133C(3) of the Migration Act to cancel the visa held by Mr Novak Djokovic on health and good order grounds, on the basis that it was in the public interest to do so,” Hawke said in a statement.
Hawke’s decision arrived days after an Australian court reinstated the 34-year-old’s visa, which had been granted with a medical exemption to Australia’s COVID-19 vaccine requirements.
Officials questioned whether Djokovic meet the requirements for that exemption, but Judge Anthony Kelly sided with the tennis star, noting that Djokovic’s medical exemption had been provided with input from an “eminently qualified physician.”
“And the point I’m somewhat agitated about is, ‘What more could this man have done?'” the judge said on Monday.
However, the question remained as to whether Djokovic lied to his travel report. Travelers arriving in Australia are required to present their documents prior to entry.
Djokovic landed in Australia from Spain via Dubai on January 5th about a few weeks ago. As part of Australia’s pandemic response, tennis stars had to stay in Spain for at least 14 days before traveling.
Djokovic checked the box on his registration form and stated that she had not traveled during that period. Social media seems to be telling another story, and at least one post suggests that Djokovic was in Serbia for that 14 days.
Hawk told our source on Wednesday: “Djokovic’s lawyer recently submitted a wide range of additional filings and supporting documents allegedly related to the possibility of Djokovic’s visa cancellation. Of course, this will affect the time frame of the decision.”
The Australian Open will begin on January 17th. Djokovic has won the tournaments nine times in total and won in the last three years.
Source: ABC News