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Novak Djokovic was deported from Australia on Jan. 16 after losing a bid to stay in the country to defend his Australian Open title despite not being vaccinated against COVID-19.
The No. 1-ranked tennis star said he was “extremely disappointed” by a court’s decision Jan. 16 but added that he respected the ruling and would cooperate with authorities.
The 34-year-old Serb was granted an exemption to strict vaccination rules by two medical panels and Tennis Australia in order to play in the Australian Open. That exemption apparently allowed him to receive a visa to enter Australia.
But upon arrival on Jan. 6, border officials said the exemption was not valid. A court initially ruled on procedural grounds that Djokovic could stay, but Australian Immigration Minister Alex Hawke, who has wide powers, later decided to deport him. Djokovic is a vocal vaccine skeptic, and the government said his presence could stir up anti-vaccine sentiments.
Three Federal Court judges unanimously upheld the immigration minister’s decision. (AP)
This article was provided by The Japan Times Alpha.