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Australia canceled Novak Djokovic's visa for the second time

Australia canceled Novak Djokovic's visa for the second time

January 17, 2022: -Tennis star Novak Djokovic has had his visa canceled one more ahead of the Australian Open as the furor over his Covid-19 vaccination status intensifies.

On Monday, it came after Djokovic won a court battle to stay in the country after his visa was revoked. The 34-year-old Serbian national was detained in an immigration facility in the previous week after arriving in Melbourne ahead of the Australian Open for what officials said violated the strict entry rules of the country that require visitors to be vaccinated against Covid.

The court ruling on Monday meant Djokovic’s visa remained valid, and he was released from detention. But the Australian government has acted once again.

“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,” On Friday, Australia’s Immigration Minister Alex Hawke said in a statement.

Djokovic, a vocal vaccine skeptic, which aimed for a record-breaking 21st Grand Slam title, initially had his passport confiscated on January 5 after customs officials decided he did not have sufficient medical justification for a vaccine exemption.

In a court filing Saturday, Djokovic’s team of lawyers argued that the tennis player’s contraction of Covid-19, for which he tested positive on December 16, served as a sufficient vaccine exemption.

But controversy followed when photos emerged from December 17 of Djokovic and several Serbian youth tennis players, unmasked and indoors. Earlier this week, Djokovic admitted breaking Covid isolation rules while positive and apologizing for a mistake on his Australian travel declaration.

On Thursday, the tennis star was included in the draw for the Australian Open, which starts Monday, despite uncertainty over his participation.

An Australian court held a preliminary hearing on the visa cancelation on Friday night, with Djokovic’s lawyers pushing for the issue to be resolved by Sunday so he can play on Monday. The court ordered Djokovic to be detained from 8 a.m. local time on Saturday.

Djokovic’s lawyer, Nicholas Wood, reportedly told the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia that Hawke’s decision was “patently irrational.”

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