World number one tennis player Novak Djokovic has sensationally admitted that he broke rules on COVID isolation and lied to the Australian immigration authorities about his travel history after testing positive for coronavirus. However, despite his confession, the 20-time Grand Slam champion refused to issue an apology. Instead, he only blamed media for spreading misinformation.
In a statement posted on Instagram, Djokovic said, “I want to address the continuing misinformation about my activities and attendance at events in December in the lead up to my positive PCR COVID test result.
“This is misinformation, which needs to be corrected particularly in the interest of alleviating broader concern in the community about my presence in Australia, and to address matters which are very hurtful and concerning to my family.”
He continued, “I want to emphasise that I have tried very hard to ensure the safety of everyone and my compliance with testing obligations.
“I attended a basketball game in Belgrade on December 14, after which it was reported that a number of people tested positive with Covid-19.
“Despite having no COVID symptoms, I took a rapid antigen test on December 16 which was negative, and out of an abundance of caution, also took an official and approved PCR test on the same day.”
Djokovis was accused of going ahead with his public appearances even after testing positive for the virus. One of his public engagements included giving an interview to a French newspaper L’Equipe and doing a photoshoot for it. He had also attended a function where he posed for the camera with school children.
Djokovic said, “The next day I attended a tennis event in Belgrade to present awards to children and took a rapid antigen test before going to the event, and it was negative.
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“I was asymptomatic and felt good, and I had not received the notification for a positive PCR test result until after that event.
“The next day, on December 18 I was at my tennis centre in Belgrade to fulfil a long-standing commitment for a L’Equipe interview and photoshoot. I cancelled all other events except for the L’Equipe interview.
The Serbian tennis player said that he decided to go ahead with the interview by breaking COVID rules since he did not want to let down the journalist.
“I felt obliged to go ahead and conduct the L’Equipe interview as I didn’t want to let the journalist down, but did ensure I socially distanced and wore a mask except when my photograph was being taken.
“While I went home after the interview to isolate for the required period, on reflection, this was an error of judgement and I accept that I should have rescheduled this commitment,” he added.