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Novak Djokovic Says He'd Rather Lose GOAT Race Than Get Vaccinated

Max Sherry

Published 

Novak Djokovic Says He'd Rather Lose GOAT Race Than Get Vaccinated

Featured Image Credit: Alamy/BBC

Novak Djokovic has admitted that he would rather miss out on competing in future tennis tournaments than get the Covid-19 vaccine.

The Serbian tennis star became embroiled in a huge controversy upon arriving Down Under for the Australian Open earlier this year.

Refusing to get the jab and allegedly breaching various Covid protocols, Djokovic ended up spending time in detention before eventually getting deported from the country.

His absence from the prestigious tournament meant fan favourite Rafael Nadal was able to clinch a historic, record-breaking 21st Grand Slam title, while Djokovic was forced to watch on from the comfort of his Belgrade living room.

But despite all that, Djokovic still isn't budging on his stance, claiming that he's now willing to sacrifice future competitions such as Wimbledon and the French Open if it means remaining unvaccinated.

Djokovic told the BBC's Amol Rajan that giving up his pursuit of Grand Slams is "the price I'm willing to pay".

In the fascinating tell-all interview, Djokovic broke his silence on the Australian Open saga and the subsequent backlash he faced.

"I've always supported the freedom to choose what you put in your body," Djokovic said of the vaccine.

"The principles of decision making on my body are more important than any title or anything else. I'm trying to be in tune with my body as much as I possibly can.

"I was never against vaccination. I understand that globally, everyone is trying to put a big effort into handling this virus and seeing, hopefully, an end soon to this virus."

That said, tennis' world No.1 still insists he's not an anti-vaxxer though.

Novak Djokovic. Credit: PA
Novak Djokovic. Credit: PA

"I understand and support fully the freedom to choose whether you want to get vaccinated or not," he added.

"I have not spoken about this before and I have not disclosed my medical record and my vaccination status because I had the right to keep that private and discrete. But as I see, there is a lot of wrong conclusions and assumptions out there and I think it's important to speak up about that and justify certain things.

"I was never against vaccination. I understand globally, everyone is trying to put a big effort into handling this virus and seeing an end soon hopefully to this virus. And vaccination was probably the biggest effort that was made, probably half of the planet was vaccinated. And I fully respect that.

"But I've always supported the freedom to choose what you put in your body. For me, that is essential. It is really the principle of understanding what is right and what is wrong for you, and me as an elite professional athlete, I have always carefully reviewed, assessed everything that comes in, from supplements, food, the water that I drink, sports drinks, anything that comes into my body as fuel. Based on all the information I got, I decided not to take the vaccine as of today."

Topics: covid, vaccine, Australian Open, Novak Djokovic, Australia, Covid-19

Max Sherry
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