Tennis World No 1 Novak Djokovic relied on a recent COVID-19 infection to secure a written clearance from Australia’s immigration department before travelling to the country, his lawyers said in a court filing on Saturday.
Djokovic returned his first positive test on December 16, 2021, but two weeks later “had not had a fever or respiratory symptoms of COVID-19 in the last 72 hours”, the filing said.
The Serb is currently in immigration detention in Melbourne after having his visa cancelled on arrival on Thursday.
The nine-time Australian Open champion received “a document from the Department of Home Affairs (which) told Mr Djokovic that his ‘responses indicate(d) that (he met) the requirements for a quarantine-free arrival into Australia”, the documents added.
Djokovic, an outspoken critic of mandatory vaccination, has never disclosed his own vaccination status. He is challenging his visa cancellation in Australia’s federal court in hopes of winning his 21st Grand Slam at the Australian Open, which starts on January 17.