World No.1 Tennis player Novak Djokovic has had his visa cancelled despite receiving an exemption to travel into Australia to compete in the Australian Open.
Initially the Serbian revealed he had been given "medical exemption" to enter Melbourne despite not having a COVID-19 vaccination.
However, the 20-time Grand Slam winner was then refused entry due to an issue with the application for a sub-visa to get into the country.
He was stopped at passport control and kept in a room in at Tullamarine Airport for more than six hours by Border Force officials, with the Serbian embassy involved.
But it's now emerged Djokovic, who has repeatedly refused to declare his vaccination status, is being sent home.
Mr Djokovic’s visa has been cancelled. Rules are rules, especially when it comes to our borders. No one is above these rules. Our strong border policies have been critical to Australia having one of the lowest death rates in the world from COVID, we are continuing to be vigilant.— Scott Morrison (@ScottMorrisonMP) January 5, 2022
Breaking: Novak Djokovic's visa has been cancelled.— Oliver Brown (@oliverbrown_tel) January 5, 2022
Greg Hunt, Australia's health minister, confirms Djokovic has failed to provide 'appropriate standards of proof' to enter the country and that he will be sent home.— Oliver Brown (@oliverbrown_tel) January 5, 2022
Breaking: Novak Djokovic's visa has been cancelled. He's been told to leave the country today, two sources confirmed to @theage. His Lawyers are in the process of appealing. He's not demonstrated to Border Force sufficient evidence for his exemption https://t.co/TM5BF0Gu80— Paul Sakkal (@paulsakkal) January 5, 2022
There is an increasing possibility that Djokovic will be on the next flight home. Both the Serbian Embassy and the Australian Ambassador to Serbia are now becoming involved. A lonely-looking Australian Open courtesy car still waiting for him outside airport.— Oliver Brown (@oliverbrown_tel) January 5, 2022
As Novak Djokovic's detention at Melbourne Airport extends beyond six hours, his father Srdan tells media, via @sunriseon7: 'They are holding my son captive. If they don't release him in the next half an hour, we will fight them on the street.'— Oliver Brown (@oliverbrown_tel) January 5, 2022
According to the country's health minister Greg Hunt, the 34-year-old did not provide "appropriate standards of proof" to enter Australia.
The event gets under way on January 17 and it appears as though Djokovic will therefore be unable to defend his Australian Open crown, which he has won on nine occasions and for the past three year years on the trot.
It's said the error in regards to his visa was not picked up prior to Djokovic boarding 14 hour flight from Dubai to Melbourne.
"The federal government has asked if we will support Novak Djokovic’s visa application to enter Australia," Victoria's acting sports minister Jaala Pulford said on the matter.
"We will not be providing Novak Djokovic with individual visa application support to participate in the 2022 Australian Open grand slam.
"We’ve always been clear on two points: visa approvals are a matter for the federal government, and medical exemptions are a matter for doctors."
Djokovic is tied with Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer on Grand Slams, with his next triumph seeing him becoming the most decorated men's tennis player.
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