Novak Djokovic: Mystery surrounds positive Covid test ahead of Australian Open

Djokovic has admitted breaking isolation after testing positive, but the validity of his Covid test has been questioned

Harry Latham-Coyle
Wednesday 12 January 2022 09:15
Djokovic back to training in Australia after court victory

The validity of Novak Djokovic’s positive Covid test continues to come under scrutiny after an investigation suggested the test was returned 10 days after originally claimed.

German newspaper Der Spiegel alleged that their analysis of the digital version of the test showed a timestamp from the 26 December.

Djokovic received a medical exemption to enter the Australian Open as an unvaccinated player on the basis of a positive test on 16 December, and has since admitted to knowingly breaking isolation rules to attend an interview two days after.

However Der Spiegel have also claimed that the digital test showed a negative result for some time, though a scan of the QR code does now show a Covid positive.

Djokovic released a statement via Instagram on Wednesday morning to “address the continuing misinformation” about his activity after testing positive.

The Serbian conceded that he “should have rescheduled” an interview and photoshoot with L’Equipe on 18 December after receiving notice of his positive PCR result, but insisted he remained socially distanced and wore a mask other than when being photographed.

The 20-time Grand Slam winner also sought to clarify seemingly incorrect information about his travel movements in the two weeks prior to arriving in Melbourne.

He claimed that a member of his team had made an error on the travel declaration in stating that Djokovic had not travelled during that period on his immigration form to enter Australia, with social media posts showing Djokovic in both Spain and the Serbian capital of Belgrade in those weeks.

Djokovic’s participation in the Australian Open remains in doubt.

The Australian Border Force, the nation’s immigration officials, have said that they are investigating whether he had made a “false declaration” - which could cause Djokovic’s visa to be revoked for a second time.

A court overturned the original cancellation of his visa on appeal on Monday, allowing Djokovic to leave detention and train.

The Australian Open begins on Monday 17 January.

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