Novak Djokovic Is Refused Entry Into Australia Over Vaccine Exemption

by 24USATVJan. 6, 2022, 4 a.m. 23
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Novak Djokovic, the world’s No. 1-ranked men’s tennis player, traveled all day Wednesday from Dubai to Australia, a journey that was supposed to begin his defense of the Australian Open singles championship.

On Thursday, he was told he would need to leave the country, following a 10-hour standoff with government officials at a Melbourne airport, where he was held in a room overnight over the validity of his visa and questions about the evidence supporting a medical exemption from a coronavirus vaccine. The exemption was supposed to allow Djokovic, a 20-time Grand Slam tournament champion and one of the biggest stars in sports, to compete in the Australian Open even though he has not been vaccinated.

Djokovic did not immediately leave the country and was reported to be planning a legal challenge to the ruling Thursday. A spokesman for the tennis star did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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