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Novak Djokovic could face jail time over visa row

Novak Djokovic has admitted to breaking isolation after testing positive for covid-19 and providing the wrong information in his travel declaration document to enter Australia.

What’s happened so far…

Men’s number one tennis player Novak Djokovic is currently preparing to vie for a historic title at the imminent Australian Open amid a storm of controversy.

The tennis star first 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.

After a judge dramatically overturned the decision, allowing him to remain in the country, speculation over his actions prior to travelling to Australia surfaced.

This is all while the Australian Immigration Minister has threatened to invoke his powers to deport Djokovic.

Djokovic breaks his silence …

In a new twist, Djokovic has made an Instagram post to clarify “ongoing misinformation” about his movement where he admits that he broke isolation after testing positive for Covid.

The tennis star said he did not know he had Covid when he went to two events - the unveiling of a Djokovic stamp and an awards ceremony that was attended by children.

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.

But in an affidavit to the federal circuit court, it was said he was "tested and diagnosed" on December 16.

He has also stated that he made a false declaration on his travel form prior to entering Australia which he attributes to a human error by his agent who filled out the forms.

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.

Possible jail time?

This new information means that his visa could be cancelled on "character grounds" based on the investigation into his arrival form and potential breaches of Serbia's Covid rules.

Djokovic could also face jail time since the penalty for giving false evidence under the Crimes Act is a prison sentence of five years.

It had already been reported that Djokovic could face a maximum possible jail term of 12 months for providing "false or misleading information" to the government.

The men's professional tennis tour has called for more clarity of the rules to enter Australia and urged players to get vaccinated. Men’s number one Novak Djokovic is currently preparing to vie for a historic title at the imminent Australian Open amid a storm of controversy.

(BBC sport)

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