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Djokovic no-vax? World tennis asks the Serbian to clarify the exemption

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The medical exemption granted to Novak Djokovic – who continues to keep his vaccination status confidential – to participate in the Australian Open it aroused indignant reactions in the country, where the Prime Minister threatened to send the Serb back “with the first plane” if this exemption was not justified. “We are waiting for explanations – said Scott Morrison at a press conference – and to provide us with evidence to support this waiver. If this evidence is insufficient, then he will be treated no differently than anyone else and will return home on the first plane. There will be no special rules – the Prime Minister insisted – for Novak Djokovic ».

Djokovic shows medical exemption

Australian Open director Craig Tiley, urged Novak Djokovic to reveal the reason for the medical exemption that will allow him to participate in the first Grand Slam of the year, without ever having said whether or not he is vaccinated against the Covid. “It would certainly be useful if Novak – Tiley (who is also president of the Australian Federtennis) told the media) – explained the conditions under which he applied for and obtained an exemption. I encourage him to talk to the community about it. We have gone through a very difficult period in the last 2 years and I would appreciate some answers on this ».
However, Tiley denied that the number 1 in the world received preferential treatment to obtain such an exemption, during a process supervised by the Australian authorities and those of the State of Victoria. A total of 26 players or staff members, out of the roughly 3,000 expected in Australia, have applied for an exemption and only a few have obtained it, he explained.

Djokovic’s competitive past

Already winner of 20 Grand Slam tournaments, such as Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, Djokovic is aiming at Melbourne for the title that would give him the record. The Australian Open, which starts on January 17, is his favorite tournament: it is in Melbourne that the Serbian won his first Grand Slam (2008), and none have won as much as he (9 editions).
For months “Nole” had questioned his participation in the first Grand Slam of the year, due to the obligation for players to be vaccinated against the Covid-19 to enter Australia and be able to compete.

The announcement of the exemption

On 4 January he announced that he had obtained a “medical exemption” which allows him to make the trip. The Australian Federation has taken refuge behind medical secrecy for not explaining this exemption. But the green light has sparked many negative reactions, in particular from some players who have denounced favorable treatment towards the Serbian. Who never made it clear about his vaccination status and in April last year he spoke out against mandatory vaccination, which was then expected to allow the resumption of tournaments despite the pandemic.

The reactions

“Djokovic has to say why he can’t be vaccinated.” Adriano too Panatta joins the chorus of criticism against the world‘s # 1 tennis player, who announced his participation in the Australian Open thanks to a vaccine exemption. “If the organizers do not clarify the reasons for the exemption – Panatta told Radio Capital – then we will end up thinking that Djokovic is the Marquis del Grillo:” I know and you are not a c … “. Panatta then said he was skeptical about the possibility that the other tennis players would refuse to play against Djokovic. «It seems very difficult to me: either you participate in the tournament by accepting the rules or you refuse them by saying“ I’m not going because I don’t agree ”. But you can’t choose who to play against ».

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