Australian Open

No-Vaxx Djokovic to be Deported From Australia in Disgraceful Political Act by Supposed Liberal Democracy

World No. 1 tennis player Novak Djokovic is to be deported from Australia following a court ruling upholding the cancellation of his visa by the Immigration Minister. The Telegraph has more.

Three Federal Court Judges heard the appeal over the Australian Immigration Minister’s decision to revoke Novak Djokovic’s visa on health grounds.

Djokovic’s lawyers argued the Minister had provided no evidence the Serbian’s presence in the country may “foster anti-vaccination sentiment” when scrapping his visa.

In response, the Government highlighted Djokovic’s anti-vaccination stance and his “history of ignoring Covid safety measures”.

The world No. 1 spent Sunday in his lawyers’ offices, under the guard of two immigration officials, while the challenge was heard via video link.

After just over three hours of deliberations, the three judges decided unanimously to uphold the Immigration Minister’s right to cancel Djokovic’s visa.

Djokovic had the option of trying to take the legal fight further but said although he was “extremely disappointed” by the decision he would cooperate with the deportation.

The Immigration Minister Alex Hawke welcomed the unanimous ruling of the judges to uphold his decision “to cancel Mr Djokovic’s visa in the public interest”.

Australia’s strong border protection policies have kept us safe during the pandemic, resulting in one of the lowest death rates, strongest economic recoveries, and highest vaccination rates in the world. Strong border protection policies are also fundamental to safeguarding Australia’s social cohesion which continues to strengthen despite the pandemic.

Djokovic released a statement saying he was “extremely disappointed” with the court ruling.

In Australia, the Clowns Are in Charge – And It’s No Laughing Matter

There were cynics who doubted the clowns who run this country could maintain their high standards of idiocy into this third year of pandemonium, but here they come again, tripping over their giant shoes as they enter the ring. Buffoons of that pedigree were never going to let us down.

True to their vision, we’re trapped in a miasma of bumbling incompetence, leavened with spiteful, vindictive meddling in our private lives. Polka-dotted bowler hats off to them, I say.

What a wacky week these crazy kids have delivered us. But before we luxuriate in the comic masterpiece of the Australian Open and Government’s removal of its reigning champion, Novak Djokovic, late on Friday, we should pause to applaud the latest jewel in the crown of our leaders’ stupidity: the screamingly funny $1,000 fine for not filing your positive rapid antigen test to the NSW Government’s gnomes.

The early promise and backbone shown by the NSW Premier suggested he’d fluffed his lines, but normal nonsense programming was restored at the prompting of his Health Ministry halfwits and a couple of Sydney talkback windbags. Their barrage of uneducated blustering and bullying, echoed by the shrieking flock of Chicken Littles that nest in our print media, saw the Premier’s resolve evaporate like the morning mist.

Given his Government has no idea who among its subjects has the RAT kits (I bought a couple of packets a month ago – or did I?), nor how many they have, or whether they’ve been used, correctly or otherwise, or by whom, or what result they gave, it seems unlikely that any fines will be collected. So, an unenforceable law to deal with an undetectable offence with a mighty but undeliverable penalty. If there’s a more amusing way of inviting contempt for the rules and their creators, I look forward to it.

You can see the appeal, though: at a grand a pop they only need to catch 11 million recalcitrants and – bingo! – that’s paid for the 58 million PCR tests we’ve conducted so far.

Besides, self-reporting has marvellous potential. In some U.S. cities there have been calls to defund the police, but our jokers have gone one better and outsourced the role to the citizens. A simple command to report oneself on pain of punishment – why did no one think of that before?

“Hello, NSW police? I drove home on New Year’s Eve and used a breath-test machine to discover to my horror that I was marginally over the limit. Please suspend my licence for three months – oh, and there’s a cheque for $1,500 in the post.”

Meanwhile, infections continue to climb, hundreds of thousands a day, boosted by the eager self-testers who uploaded their results to the health services website. So after nearly two years of kicking it, here’s where the can has ended up.

No-Vaxx Djokovic Visa Cancelled Again in “Punitive” Late Move By Australian Government

The Australian Government has cancelled Novak Djokovic’s visa for a second time, saying the world tennis No. 1, who is unvaccinated for COVID-19, may pose a risk to the community. The following story is drawn from reporting in the Telegraph.

Immigration Minister Alex Hawke used discretionary powers to again cancel Djokovic’s visa. Here is his statement in full:

Today I exercised my power under section 133C(3) of the Migration Act to cancel the visa held by Mr Novak Djokovic on health and good order grounds, on the basis that it was in the public interest to do so.

This decision followed orders by the Federal Circuit and Family Court on Jan 10th, 2022, quashing a prior cancellation decision on procedural fairness grounds.

In making this decision, I carefully considered information provided to me by the Department of Home Affairs, the Australian Border Force and Mr Djokovic.

The Morrison Government is firmly committed to protecting Australia’s borders, particularly in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.

I thank the officers of the Department of Home Affairs and the Australian Border Force who work every day to serve Australia’s interest in increasingly challenging operational environments.

Novak Djokovic arrived in Melbourne airport on January 5th claiming a vaccine exemption because of a positive PCR test result on December 16th. Border agents rejected his exemption, saying a recent infection was an insufficient justification, cancelled his visa and placed him in a detention centre. Djokovic went to court and a judge overturned the visa decision on procedural grounds because border officials at the airport failed to give him the agreed time to respond.

However, on the day of his claimed positive test in Serbia, he is known to have attended a ceremony to honour him with stamps bearing his image. The next day he attended a youth tennis event, not wearing a mask at either event. He has also admitted to a mistake on his Australian travel declaration, in which a box was ticked indicating that he had not, or would not, travel in the 14 days before flying to Melbourne. Social media posts and reports show him flying from Serbia to Spain during that period.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said the sacrifices made by Australians during the pandemic must be respected.

No-Vaxx Djokovic Wins Appeal to Enter Australia as Judge Admits He is “Somewhat Agitated” Over Mistreatment – But Government Threatens to Deport Anyway

Men’s No. 1 tennis player Novak Djokovic is allowed to play in the Australian Open again after a judge quashed the decision to cancel his visa – but the Australian Government has issued a new threat to cancel the visa regardless. The Telegraph has the story.

The 20-time grand slam champion will be released within the hour and have his passport returned to him following a dramatic conclusion to a bizarre day in federal court.

However, the fiasco threatens to continue after it was revealed immediately after the verdict that Australia’s immigration minister has retained the right to exercise personal power to revoke Djokovic’s visa again.

The tennis star was detained at a Melbourne airport on Thursday after authorities said he did not meet COVID-19 vaccination requirements.

He was subsequently taken to the Park Hotel, a quarantine facility in the city, after being held at the airport overnight and was told he would be removed from the country.

But on Monday a federal judge jumped to Djokovic’s defence and demanded to know what more the tennis star could have done to prove to Australian authorities that he was entitled to enter the country.

Admitting he was “somewhat agitated”, Judge Kelly said the tennis star had provided evidence from “a professor and an eminently qualified physician” about a medical exemption.

“What more could this man have done?” the judge demanded.

After a lengthy adjournment, Judge Kelly read out a minute agreed by both parties to make the ruling, and he also ordered the Government to cover Djokovic’s legal costs.

The world No. 1 can now theoretically begin preparations for defending his title at the Australian Open on Monday but could face another legal battle.

Immediately after the ruling, Christopher Tran, a lawyer representing the Australian Government, informed the court that immigration minister Alex Hawke reserves her personal power to remove Djokovic from Australia and said that they are considering a second notice of cancellation.

Shocking that even when the Government is told it has mistreated a person – who should be an honoured guest in the country – and ordered to pay his legal costs it doubles down by continuing to threaten him with deportation using the Minister’s ‘personal power’. That’s tyranny, right there, folks.

Worth reading in full.

Stop Press: The Spectator‘s Emily Hill says Djokovic has earned the right to have an opinion on whether he would benefit from being vaccinated.

Nadal Blames Djokovic For Being Barred From Australia as There Are “Consequences” of Not Being Vaccinated as Downing Street Falsely Claims Vaccines Are “Completely Safe”

Tennis world number one Novak Djokovic has been told by rival Rafael Nadal that he only has himself to blame for being denied entry to Australia over his vaccination status. The Telegraph has more.

Nadal took aim at his long-time rival, who was facing being deported on Thursday for failing to provide “appropriate evidence” to warrant him being granted a medical exemption to play at the Australian Open.

The Spaniard, who is tied with Djokovic and Roger Federer on 20 grand slams and could now be the only one of the three at the first major of the year, also implied those who refused to be jabbed were selfish.

Nadal said: “If he wanted, he would be playing here in Australia without problems. He makes his own decision. Everyone is free to take their own decisions, but then there are some consequences. I don’t like the situation that is happening. In some way I feel sorry for him. But at the same time, he knew the conditions since a lot of months ago, so he made his own decision.”

Djokovic has repeatedly refused to reveal whether he had been inoculated against COVID-19 but has previously stated he was “opposed” to vaccination.

Stressing the importance of players being jabbed, Nadal said: “We have been going through very challenging [times] and a lot of families have been suffering a lot during the last two years with all the pandemic.

“I believe in what the people who know about medicine say, and if the people say that we need to get vaccinated, we need to get the vaccine. That’s my point of view.

“I went through Covid. I have been vaccinated twice. If you do this, you don’t have any problem to play here. That’s the only thing.

“The only, for me, clear thing is if you are vaccinated, you can play the Australian Open and everywhere, and the world in my opinion has been suffering enough to [not] not follow the rules.”

Nadal’s comments come as Downing Street uses the incident to encourage everyone to get vaccinated.

Novaxx Djokovic: Unjabbed Tennis Champ Threatened With Deportation from Australia

The men’s tennis number one Novak Djokovic has been threatened with deportation back to Serbia after his visa was rejected by Australian officials amid a mix-up with his application. There’s also the small fact that he is unvaccinated and claimed to be exempt from Australia’s rules about unvaccinated visitors, as well as the rule that only vaccinated players can compete in the Australian Open. MailOnline has more.

The No. 1 tennis star, who was left stranded at Melbourne’s Tullamarine airport overnight, has been denied entry into Australia after initially being granted a medical exemption for the country’s COVID-19 vaccination requirements so that he could play in the Australian Open.

The 34 year-old was issued a letter by the Australian Government saying his visa had been denied and he would be deported, a source close to the tournament said tonight.

Australia’s Health Minister Greg Hunt confirmed today that Djokovic’s visa had been cancelled, and Border Force issued a statement to that effect.

“The Australian Border Force will continue to ensure that those who arrive at our border comply with our laws and entry requirements,” a statement read.

“The ABF can confirm that Mr Djokovic failed to provide appropriate evidence to meet the entry requirements to Australia, and his visa has been subsequently cancelled.

“Non-citizens who do not hold a valid visa on entry or who have had their visa cancelled will be detained and removed from Australia. The ABF can confirm Mr Djokovic had access to his phone.​”

Djokovic’s lawyers are now gearing up to fight the visa cancellation in court, though it is not clear if the star player will stay in Australia during the case.

Meanwhile, Serbian President Aleksanda Vucic said on Instagram that he has spoken to Djokovic and added that Serbian authorities are taking measures “so the harassment of the best tennis player in the world be stopped in the shortest possible time”.

The tennis star will now be moved to a hotel in Melbourne under police guard until a deportation flight back to Serbia can be arranged.

Djokovik, who landed in Melbourne on an Emirates flight from Dubai at around 11.15pm, was initially placed in isolation after officials discovered his team had bungled his visa application to play in the Australian Open without being vaccinated.

It came just hours after Prime Minister Scott Morrison threatened to send the Serb back “on the next plane home” if he could not provide evidence for his vaccine exemption.

Worth reading in full.

Looks like it’s 30-15 to the Covid hysterics. But Djoko is a fighter so the game isn’t over.

Djokovic Granted Permission to Compete in Australian Open Despite Being Unvaccinated

There follows a guest post by tennis fan David Hansard, a contributor to the Daily Sceptic as well as Quillette and the Conservative Woman, about the news that Novak Djokovic, the highest ranked male player in the world, has been granted an exemption to the rule that all competitors in the Australian Open have to be vaccinated. Needless to say, this has annoyed a lot of Covid hysterics.

Contrary to many people’s expectations, world number one Novak Djokovic, has announced he is to compete for a tenth Australian Open title. Following months of doubt and speculation about whether he would be allowed to play, he has been granted a medical exemption from being vaccinated against Covid. The news came only 12 days before the tournament is due to begin.

Djokovic has always refused to reveal his vaccination status. It was assumed by many – correctly, it now turns out – that he has not been vaccinated. Under tournament rules everyone who attends – whether players, spectators, media or staff – must either be vaccinated or have an exemption.

As one of the fittest people on Earth, it was difficult to see how Djokovic would be granted an exemption. For a long time it seemed that his only option was either to get vaccinated or to miss out on what has been the most successful tournament in the champion’s career – he’s the current title-holder. The latter seemed the far likelier outcome. Djokovic’s challenge to Federer and Nadal as the male player with the most grand slam titles looked set to be delayed until later this year.

But after his request for exemption was granted by medical experts in Australia, he is now on his way to Melbourne.

It has delighted many but – as expected – it has also annoyed some in the tennis world, including Andy Murray’s brother Jamie. A lot of the reaction on social media has been particularly splenetic, whether against Djokovic himself, the tennis authorities, or the Victorian authorities, who have waived the need for him to quarantine for 14 days on arrival. The torrent of abuse began minutes after the news broke. Djokovic was immediately cast as evil and selfish, indifferent to others’ well-being. Tournament organisers were attacked for recklessly showing favouritism to a crowd-pulling player, prioritising profit over public health.

It does not seem to matter to most critics whether Djokovic has, in fact, got a valid reason for exemption, or even that exemption is allowed under the rules. For the most part they vaguely assume he is being dishonest, and that despite his application having been anonymously assessed by two independent panels, something nefarious is afoot. Nothing washes with them, including the possibility – as the BBC reports – that the exemption may have been granted because vaccination can be deferred if you have recently been infected with Covid. Tournament Director Craig Tiley has said some other players have already been granted exemption, yet Djokovic is the one in the cross hairs.

We will probably never know the reason for the exemption, and rightly so. It’s a private matter. But whatever the explanation, the response of his critics, though expected, is disappointing. Their intolerant and inflexible behaviour is distinctly authoritarian, something we have grown used to from the start of the pandemic.

Djokovic didn’t become the world number one – and arguably the greatest male player of all time – just because of his supreme tennis skills. It’s also thanks to his commitment, persistence and physical and mental resilience. Many who are unhappy with the tournament’s decision have expressed the hope that Djokovic will be punished by the crowd in Melbourne, and his performance adversely affected. That’s wishful thinking. Although Djokovic is not entirely immune to the feelings of spectators, his critics will be disappointed if they believe a few boos will prevent him from winning another grand slam tournament.

Stop Press: The Prime Minister of Australia Scott Morrison has threatened to put Djokovic “on the next plane home” if he can’t provide evidence of his vaccine exemption status.

Tasmanian Senator Says That Novak Djokovic Must Be Excluded From Australian Open

World number one tennis player Novak Djokovic continues to keep his vaccination status a secret, but in a surprising turn of events, the reigning Australian Open champion is on this year’s official list of competitors, as he could still play in the tournament if he receives a medical exemption. Responding to this development, Tasmanian Senator Jacqui Lambie, who believes that Djokovic is trying to exploit a “loophole” to dodge the Grand Slam’s Covid restrictions, has insisted that the original rules must still be applied, meaning that only double-vaccinated players can attend. The Mail Australia has the story.

Jacqui Lambie has blasted Novak Djokovic after the Australian Open named him on its competition entry list despite the world number one refusing to reveal if he is fully vaccinated. 

Tennis Australia named the 34 year-old, an outspoken Covid vaccine sceptic, on its official list of competitors for the Melbourne Grand Slam on Wednesday.

Djokovic has so far refused to reveal if he is double-jabbed despite the Victorian Government mandating that all competitors must have received both doses. 

The Tasmanian Senator on Thursday morning said the rules were simple and Djokovic shouldn’t receive any special treatment.

“I don’t give a stuff whether you’re the number one,” she told the Today show. “You’re either double vaccinated or not. If you’re not double vaccinated, you’re not coming in.”

Reports emerged on Wednesday the tennis great could pursue a medical exemption if he wasn’t vaccinated – a loophole allowing him to compete in the tournament and enter Australia without quarantining.

“I don’t know where the loophole comes from – you’re either double vaccinated or not,” Lambie said.   

The sport’s governing body said players could get around the strict quarantine requirements by obtaining a “valid medical exemption”.

But Deputy Premier James Merlino downplayed that possibility, as there were only a few reasons why medical exemptions would be granted.

“So my view and I think the view of all Victorians (and) the expectation of all Victorians is that everyone who attends the Open player, spectator, staff, officials, everyone is fully vaccinated.”

Djokovic apparently has grounds to apply for the exemption and is backed by Tennis Australia officials, News Corp reported.

“[The rules] include certified proof of vaccination or a valid medical exemption approved by Australian medical officials,” Tennis Australia said.

What has also been made clear by health officials is that international arrivals who don’t meet these requirements will need to quarantine for 14 days.

Tennis Australia denied the suggestion it was seeking ‘loopholes’ to help Djokovic enter the country. 

“Any application for a medical exemption must follow strict government guidelines based on ATAGI (Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation) clinical advice,” Tennis Australia told Daily Mail Australia.

Worth reading in full.

Djokovic’s Vaccine Stance May Cost Him Entry to the Australian Open

We’re publishing a guest post today by David Hansard, a writer who has previous contributed to Quillette, the Conservative Woman and Cumbria magazine. It’s about the principled refusal of Novak Djokovic to refuse to disclose his vaccine status and the risks he’s taking in doing so.

Daniel Andrews, the self-satisfied Premier of Victoria, has said it is doubtful unvaccinated tennis players will be allowed to take part in the Australian Open in January.

Few are surprised by what Andrews said. It is entirely in keeping with his authoritarian response to Covid, which seems to get more dictatorial by the day. He is not alone among politicians. But like others in Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere, his policies seem to be reaching new heights of illiberalism.

Nine-times Australian Open winner, and world number one, Novak Djokovic, in particular, is not happy.

Djokovic first made his views about vaccinations known some months ago. He believes it should be a personal choice free of any pressure, let alone mandated. Last week, when asked, he refused to say if he has been vaccinated. He added: “It is a private matter and an inappropriate inquiry. People go too far these days in taking the liberty to ask questions and judge a person.” 

I think it safe to say he has not been vaccinated.