Serbian Prime Minister Novak Djokovic attends events after positive test would be a “clear” violation

Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabić has said that only Novak Djokovic can clean up the “gray areas” surrounding his report to get Covid.

Monday, lawyers representing Djokovic told an Australian court that he was exempted from the country’s vaccine mandate for travelers due to a positive Covid test received on 16 December.

However, a number of questions have arisen over the alleged test that the Serbian player is said to have taken in his home country, a few days before his team applied to Tennis Australia for his exemption.

The player participated in a stamp unveiling in his own honor the day he is said to have tested positive, and a day later he was photographed at an award ceremony of the Tennis Association in Belgrade, where he mingled with young players.

There are also reports that he attended a photoshoot on December 18, two days after his alleged test result.

In a interview with the BBC, Mrs Brnabić said that if Djokovic had attended events despite a positive test, “it would be a clear breach of the rules, because if you are positive, you should be isolated”.

She added: “I do not know, however, when he actually got the results, when he actually saw the result. There is some gray area.

“I think the only answer to this can be given by Novak, so to be honest, I do not know.”

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Ms Brnabić added: “As Prime Minister, I have done everything in my power to make the testing as well as the vaccination process as efficient as possible – to deliver test results via email, through text messages, over the phone, so I know we has done our job the best we could.

“Whether Novak was aware of the results when he got the results where he saw the results is up to Novak to explain.”

Asked what would happen if Djokovic violated the rules, she said: “I will have to talk to the relevant authorities and the doctors responsible for implementing these rules. It would be difficult for me to say straight now.”

The comments are a significant cooling of the tone towards the player from Mrs Brnabić, Serbia’s Conservative nationalist head of government, who two days ago had promised to provide “all the necessary guarantees” for the player to be allowed to enter Australia.

However, she stopped promising a survey of Djokovic, who is considered a national hero in Serbia and is the state’s most successful athlete of all time.

Ms Brnabić added: “I believe the information is part of the investigation currently being conducted by the Australian Ministry of Immigration.

“Eventually, they published part of Novak’s medical documentation, which I’m not even sure was fair on their part to publish because it’s not fair to publish anyone’s medical documentation unless they had Novak’s express consent to do so.”

Australian Immigration Minister Alex Hawke is still considering whether to use his powers to cancel the player’s visa again after a court annulled the original decision to deny the player access.

On whether he will be allowed to compete in the Australian Open, Brnabić said: “I hope the final decision will be announced soon. Uncertainty is not good for any of the stakeholders, neither Djokovic nor the Australian Open.”

Additional reporting from agencies

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