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Djokovic´s Dilemma

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Post by Henman Bill Mon 29 Nov 2021, 1:14 pm

First topic message reminder :

Djokovic has spent a lot of time complaining about COVID restrictions during the pandemic. But I don´t recall him yet missing a big tournament as a result. For at least one tournament, I seem to recall it was the Olympics, he tried to imply or say he was very doubtful about attending, presumably in his attempt to use his star power to get at least some rules changed. When this didn't work, when they called him on his bluff about not attending, he folded and went anyway.

Now, he has got two choices, and neither seems great from his perspective and given his beliefs.

1. Get vaccinated and attend the Australian Open. This would be a total fold, a clear admission of bluffing, and a very clear admission that he has been trying to use his star power to get rule changes rather than genuinely not planning to attend. It's sort of an admission of defeat.

2. Don´t play the Australian Open. This means giving up on one of his best chances to retire with the most slams. His attendance at this event could yet make all the difference. This also risks the vaccination issue coming up over and over again at other tournaments. Will other slams have similar rules? Is he also prepared to miss them?

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Post by JuliusHMarx Thu 06 Jan 2022, 8:48 pm

https://www.theage.com.au/politics/federal/border-force-investigating-other-australian-open-players-after-djokovic-ban-20220106-p59md5.html?utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Twitter#Echobox=1641452218-1

Only 2 other people - one player and one official - used the same exemption as Djoko. Both are being investigated, but -
"The other player and the official had more than one doctor supporting their claims of prior COVID infection, while one source said most of Djokovic’s paperwork was on a Tennis Australia letterhead. When border officials asked him and the Victorian government to supply more documentation, none was produced.
“It was totally insufficient and he couldn’t produce anything new. What else were we meant to do in the situation?” one senior Commonwealth source said."

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Post by Henman Bill Thu 06 Jan 2022, 10:09 pm

You say "if he gets deported then usually that means he won't be allowed to travel to Australia for a long period of time". I don't know the truth of that, but assuming you are right I think that would probably be because many people deported are criminals, working illegally, or strongly suspected of one of these things.

Djokovic doesn't fall into such categories and as such it would be overly harsh to ban him for several years. If he's blatantly lied or falsified documents then maybe, but assuming this isn't the case and it's more of a mix up or him trying to bend the rules a bit (which is more likely) then I think he's been punished enough by this fiasco (assuming his appeals fails and he ultimately gets deported) and he should be free to come back whenever he gets vaccinated, or whenever the existing rule is removed.

Similarly I doubt this situation affects his ability to travel into other countries. Again, assuming he hasn't lied/falsified, it would be harsh if it did.

To those of you who are saying they should just not have allowed exemptions, I'm not sure that is quite fair because there are people who for whatever reason are genuinely at risk of something serious if they get jabbed, such as people with certain existing diseases, conditions, or other weirdness that mean that getting the vaccination is dangerous for them. So if you just blanket ban all exemptions, then such people (if there are indeed any tennis players in this category) might be unable to play, or would have to put their health at risk to play.

However they probably could have said that exemptions would be only have been given in such rare categories, and that a doctor might have to go on record with a statement that this vaccination is dangerous for the person, and that the tennis player applying doesn't get to choose the doctor that reviews this (since that is obvious route to corruption or just asking 6 doctors until one agrees), but that the tournament or the ATP or whoever else has to specify the doctor(s) that can evaluate this.

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Post by slashermcguirk Fri 07 Jan 2022, 9:25 am

Other players now being investigated that have already arrived. I suspect there are more players potentially being sent home now because it sounds like they shouldnt have got in. This could get very messy.

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Post by slashermcguirk Fri 07 Jan 2022, 10:17 am

The way I look at this Djokovic (and it looks like several other players) did what was asked of them. Of course I think they should get vaccinated and should have got vaccinated. However unless I am confusing things, there were two rules set out to play at the Australian Open, you are either fully vaccinated or you get a medical exemption. In this case Novak (and other players, which people seem to choose to forget) applied for an exemption and for whatever reason got one.

The issue how I see it is with the Australian authorities because there appears to be disagreement on why players got exemptions. Had they said no to the exemptions, the players wouldnt have travelled over and would be at home now and quite frankly nobody would be talking about this. Instead they granted the exemptions but then on arrival are being told to leave.

While we can agree or disagree on a players stance towards vaccines, people keep saying the rules are rules. Well they appear to have played by the rules but now the government are disagreeing on what those rules are. That is hardly the players fault or am I missing something here?

As for the tennis itself, like him or loathe him the tournament will be without the number one player in the world and in my opinion the greatest player of all time. I suspect over the coming days there may be other players joining him on the way home. Regardless of whether I am a fan of all the top players, I do think a tournament is lesser without them in it. However that is obviously not going to be the case here.

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Post by Soul Requiem Fri 07 Jan 2022, 10:31 am

Rules for entering a tournament and rules for entering a country are not the same thing. They may have followed the former but clearly not the latter, trying to enter a country on the wrong visa is not playing by the rules.

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Post by slashermcguirk Fri 07 Jan 2022, 10:41 am

Soul Requiem, what are you talking about? You are telling me that all these players had the wrong Visa?? What has clearly happened is they were given a medical exemption but federal government disagree with the other authorities. How on earth would players know there is that disagreement? Why were the players told they could fly over to play? Who on earth is going to take a 20 hour flight across the world if they think they are unclear whether they can play or not.

I am not agreeing with player approaches on this, what I am saying is they are hardly to know that different authorities in australia have a different stance. You can dislike a player all you want but if this ends up being 5, 10, 20 players are you telling me they all had the wrong Visa?

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Post by Soul Requiem Fri 07 Jan 2022, 11:08 am

It is the responsibility of an individual to ensure they can legally enter a country, Djokovic did not do that, it's as simple as that. Being given clearance to enter a tennis tournament is not clearance to enter the country, they are quite clearly completely different things. You want us to believe Djokovic is a highly intelligent person whilst ar the same time putting forward an excuse of ignorance. The intelligent thing to do before getting on a plane is ensuring your legal entry on the other side.

The stupid sod could have avoided all of this by simply having the vaccine.

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Post by JuliusHMarx Fri 07 Jan 2022, 11:57 am

People get turned away all the time with incorrect paperwork, visa etc, from all countries, pre and post covid.
At the moment in this pandemic, even if you think you've followed all the rules for exemptions, you have to be prepared that something might be incorrect and accept it, without trying to turn yourself into some sort of martyr or have your family use celebrity to create an international incident.
Also, it would probably help your cause if you didn't mouth off beforehand about how you've managed to get an exemption, thus disrespecting and upsetting huge chucks of the local population you're about to visit.

My links from previous posts indicate less than 5 other people are under investigation, not all of them players. If they have also got it wrong, then they have to go as well. We don't know who they are because they didn't go "Hey, look at me - I oppose vaccination, but got my exemption!"

Tennis Australia seem to have made quite a man sausage-up, as the government told them the requirements, but they didn't pass them on correctly to the players.

Maybe Djoko genuinely thought he'd got the paperwork right, but if he didn't he should have the grace and class to accept that, and leave without fuss - but grace and class are not words often associated with Djokovic.

All this BS about a fight for freedom and how he is being tortured and held prisoner, from his family and supporters, is such bollox and again disrespects not only the Australian people and authorities, but people who are actually being held prisoner and tortured in various places and regimes.

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Post by No name Bertie Fri 07 Jan 2022, 12:32 pm

Is Pal Joey Australian and living in Australia? If so it would be interesting to get his view on what has been happening in Australia over this issue. Apparently the State of Victoria were happy with their systems and advice regarding this, the Prime Minister was asked questions and he didn't seem to be too bothered, then at some point the sheizer hit the fan, with a media outrage, Aussie celebrity and sportstar rage, and other groups. The PM then took notice and said they would be checking the visa / medical exemptions with a fine tooth comb. They are now applying rigorous federal procedure and the feeling seems to be that Djokovic should not be entering Australia (stuck in immigration).

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Post by slashermcguirk Fri 07 Jan 2022, 12:57 pm

I see another player has now being sent packing, a czech player who played in a warm up tournament already.

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Post by JuliusHMarx Fri 07 Jan 2022, 1:13 pm

It's beginning to look more and more like a c0ck-up by Tennis Australia who gave the wrong information to the players. If that is true and they had been given the right information, then Djoko and the others would probably have not travelled to Australia, as they would have known they wouldn't get in.
The sensible thing for them to do would be accept this and depart.

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Post by slashermcguirk Fri 07 Jan 2022, 2:29 pm

looks like 3 more players now being sent home and there may be more.

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Post by Pal Joey Fri 07 Jan 2022, 2:54 pm

No name Bertie wrote:Is Pal Joey Australian and living in Australia?  If so it would be interesting to get his view on what  has been happening in Australia over this issue.  Apparently the State of Victoria were happy with their systems and advice regarding this, the Prime Minister was asked questions and he didn't seem to be too bothered, then at some point the sheizer hit the fan, with a media outrage,   Aussie celebrity and sportstar rage, and other groups.  The PM then took notice and said they would be checking the visa / medical exemptions with a fine tooth comb.   They are now applying rigorous federal procedure and the feeling seems to be that Djokovic should not be entering Australia (stuck in immigration).

Yes to both of your questions, No name Bertie, but I'm from and living in Sydney.

As to what is happening in Australia over this issue you need to understand some of the political context (both State and Federal) over how the Covid situation has been handled since February 2020 across Australia (Fed. LNP Coalition) and in Victoria (State ALP). Note the PM is also from Sydney.

The main talking points here have been that the LNP (Liberal-Nationals) are responsible for the overall management of the Covid response (which obviously includes Border Control and Immigration) and also providing funding to the individual states where necessary based on expert medical advice. The States then have their own plans and responses but with their own separate expert medical advice. That explains why restrictions in some states have been far more stringent than in others. Ironically (from a world p.o.v) NSW with a Liberal (=Cons) state government at first was quite heavy handed (we had about 114 days in lockdown). Then there was a change of leader who essentially opened things up; UK/US style you might say. At that time however, we were reaching around 80% double vaccinated so it appeared a relatively easier thing to do compared to when the former NSW Premier Gladys B was managing the Covid outbreaks during her time in office.

Victorians on the other hand, under Dan Andrews, were locked down for 262 days. There was a fair bit of interstate sniping going on. Some Victorians and Dan Andrews accusing the Morrison Government of giving more doses and funding to NSW. Anyway, there were protests in both states but things were probably a bit more militant in Victoria. They had a situation where the police raided a pregnant woman's house in the early hours and arrested her (in her pyjamas) for typing stuff on social media. That caused a huge national outrage. Also one mother was unable to travel an hour or two away to bury her young child... trapped by a snap lockdown order by the Vic Premier on the advice of his medical experts.

So you can understand how heated the debate got; not only in Victoria but also in other parts of the country. NSW v Qld was particularly nasty and petty. Qld is also ALP governed. Worse still, WA went even further with their ALP Premier Mark McGowan. Their borders were slammed shut with just one Covid infection. Lots of political gloating and paranoia is still going on over there in the West.

However, to come back to the crux of your question. Most Australians fully understood the urgency and importance of getting fully vaccinated and complying with the (somewhat draconian in some cases) Covid regulations but it did get to a rather silly point where the flaws of this Federation of States was frighteningly revealed to us all. Even when the PM formed the National Cabinet early in 2020 (all State Premiers from all parties were included in this special Cabinet) there was still a fair bit of grumbling going on and the Fed. ALP has taken advantage of this. Maybe the political reactions from State ALP leaders were planned, given we are about to have our Federal Election before mid-May this year. An announcement is expected to be made shortly... most likely a day after January 26th, which is our national Holiday. This is how it works here. Morrison is treading on very thin ice in reality and in the Polls. Every move has political consequences and by making a hard stand on Djokovic, he is taking at swipe at Dan Andrews... and depriving Victoria of some extra revenue perhaps? Quite cynical.

If Djokovic wins the case on Monday, there will be more noise on the streets and maybe even larger protests right outside Rod Laver Arena itself. Imagine that? If he loses; then far fewer disgruntled Serbs and die-hard Novak fans outside the hotel before he gets deported. Either way it could get ugly.

See what I'm getting at? Net result: the good honest citizens are being taken for mugs or more correctly; being told after the fact that things could or should have been done differently... and if you vote for us... we'll get it all right. Problem is though, as we reach 95% vaccinated and boosters now rolling out; and having gone through the nearly 2 years of turmoil that we have, it's moving towards a more redundant issue right now given that most of the hard yards have been completed.

What hasn't been forgotten however, is that most people did have their freedoms curtailed for the health and long term prosperity of the greater good and we abided by the harsh rules on the basis that it was the same for everyone - no exceptions. Many were angry when film stars or sports people slipped into the country on private jets. Australia generally prides itself on being one of the most egalitarian countries on Earth... "a fair go for all" but also we have the "tall poppy syndrome" where if someone undeservedly gains an advantage over your average citizen (by money or power) then there is almost a universal objection to that type of behaviour. Different to the US where "money is the object" and the 80s "greed is good" catchphrase. We hate that type of vulgar and gluttonous behaviour here.

Well OK... we all may desire it but we don't want to be heard actually saying it!     (We're bloody hypocrites really...! )

So this, then, brings us back to Novak Djokovic and his current dilemma. After all of the sacrifice made by our citizens above, the last thing we want to hear is someone openly gloating about how they "skipped the queue" or managed to find some loophole (by dubious means or not) to gain easy access here - when 10s of thousands of our own people were stranded overseas and unable to get home for more important reasons. Don't get me wrong; most of us love sport and have nothing against him going for the Grand Slam record. Of course, others may have a different view and are probably stirring things up and making a lot of noise about the way he arrived in Melbourne. Seem to recall he was here last year? He wasn't vaccinated then, was he?

However worse still (and this is where it gets a little unnecessarily nasty and nationalistic) - we won't be lectured by Serbians who have a terrible history of denying real human rights, murdering and torturing their own people (in extremely sadistic ways in the 90s... and most likely even now I might add) and their historically dreadful treatment of their 'neighbours' and innocent others who dared to live free and normal lives. Now we have the Serb President Aleksandar Vučić weighing into the debate and accusing Australian Border Force of unlawfully detaining Novak and cynically trying to lecture us about upholding freedoms and western values - which is perhaps even more worse than any of the complete and utter nonsense coming out of Xi Jinping's traphole.

In summary, my position is that whoever organised the AO should have made it plain and clear: all players need to be properly vaccinated by an approved vaccine and provide the necessary documentary evidence and support to go with it - including current test results (very recent... 48 hours or whatever it is) and then undergo further testing if/when required and adhere to whatever rules and regulations which have been set down by the over-arching Federal requirements - which naturally trump all other 'requirements'. It needed to be stressed to the players that it is the Australian Government (via Immigration Control) which takes precedence above all state/organiser requirements and that they alone have the final say on whether they are satisfied with what a tennis player has provided them when they reach Customs. So it seems that there has been a lack of clear communication between the AO organisers and the Australian Government


Last edited by Pal Joey on Fri 07 Jan 2022, 3:23 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : My Cousin "It")
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Post by Pal Joey Fri 07 Jan 2022, 3:17 pm

Please excuse the rant. Smile

Now we can all just sit back and wait for the court decision.

A lot more is at stake for us (as a country) and it's probably quite timely that some of these important issues will be brought to a head regarding Covid management, etc... and how far those making the final legal determination will bend over to the pressure exerted by the sporting fraternity with regards to this unfortunate set of circumstances.

None of us really wanted any of this, did we? We just want to see the best tennis there is on offer.

New balls please!
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Post by slashermcguirk Fri 07 Jan 2022, 4:49 pm

I wonder how many players are going to end up being removed as a result of this. Whatever people's views of any of these players and one in particular, this feels more and more like a complete mess up in terms of communication. Had the message been sent to players that medical exemption alone was not sufficient, surely none of these players would have come to Australia and nobody would be talking about this.

First off, Djokovic and others could have got the jab and therefore would have got in. However we know there are millions of people out there who are choosing not to get vaccinated including presumably athletes in other sports. I just wonder what the point of the medical exemptions was, will we ever know if anybody who got one actually gets to stay for the Australian open. If they have all now just arrived only to be sent home before the tournament even starts, what was the whole point of the exemptions?

Djokovic will be the villain figure to come out of this but yet had the communications been clearer he would probably have never come over in the first place. It really is a bizarre situation that is still evolving with more players

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Post by JuliusHMarx Fri 07 Jan 2022, 5:03 pm

It wouldn't be surprising if Craig Tiley resigned or was sacked.

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Post by sirfredperry Sat 08 Jan 2022, 7:57 am

It's now being reported that Djoko's lawyers in a court filing have said that Novak won a Covid vaccine exemption because he was infected in December.
They added that Novax has asked to be moved from Melbourne detention centre so he can train for the AO.

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Post by lags72 Sat 08 Jan 2022, 8:03 am

So it’s just been revealed that the grounds for the exemption were based on the fact - according to evidence submitted by his lawyers - that he tested positive for Covid on December 16.

This date would seem extremely convenient in terms of the ‘one month before taking a vaccine’ advisory and the actual start of the AO.

EDIT - you beat me to it, sfp

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Post by lags72 Sat 08 Jan 2022, 8:13 am

I foresee some sort of legal fudge which will ultimately allow him to play.

But no lawyers or Court rulings can ever repair his tarnished status or increase his global fan base to match that of Nadal or Federer (and indeed many others, notably the great Bjorn Borg)

I am of the view that the level of self-inflicted damage over these past years could see him end his career as one of the sport’s least-popular Number Ones.

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Post by Soul Requiem Sat 08 Jan 2022, 8:21 am

The most convenient of alleged positive tests, the Aussies are fully aware this is a concocted story.

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Post by sirfredperry Sat 08 Jan 2022, 8:23 am

Yes, he'll probably be cleared to play - but what a mess.

What sort of reception is he going to get?

Can't help thinking that there should have been no exemptions anyway. If you ain't vaxed, you ain't playing.

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Post by lags72 Sat 08 Jan 2022, 9:10 am

Soul Requiem wrote:The most convenient of alleged positive tests, the Aussies are fully aware this is a concocted story.

Exactly so.

Funny how - despite his constant avowed love for his country and desire to represent it - he chose to mysteriously discard the ATP Cup (at the last minute) which is of course a nations team event, and yet subsequently claim on the gloating tweet that he had been relaxing with his family. All part of the carefully-hatched master plan to rock up at Melbourne airport with just enough acclimatisation + practise time before the AO itself, armed with the most dodgy of ‘exemptions’.

Tennis Australia have conducted themselves with about as much credibility and professionalism as Djoko himself and they got this badly wrong right from the start.

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Post by JuliusHMarx Sat 08 Jan 2022, 10:10 am

Tennis Australia were told by federal authorities that a recent infection would not necessarily be sufficient to allow entry, but they failed to pass that information on to the players.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Sat 08 Jan 2022, 10:19 am

My opinion, for what its worth, is jeez Novak Djokovic really comes across badly out of this.

I know there are many people in this world who have reasons or beliefs that lead them to be anti-vaxxers BUT........ in the sporting world of tennis vaccinations (especially so in Australia) you have to be vaccinated to be able to take part. You either vaccinate or forfeit participation in one of the four slams of the season - those are the rules and should be applied to everyone. If Novak is so anti the vaccine then you don't travel to a country and hope to compete - simple. Now when it has come down to the wire they say Novak has had COVID in the last month. Very convenient and why has this just come about just now after all other avenues were closed to Novak and his team. It really is a poor show and yet Novak will still protest as to why he is not a fans' favourite when his career ends? He really has only himself to blame. He really can blow his own foot off with a sawn off shotgun at times.
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Post by No name Bertie Sat 08 Jan 2022, 10:31 am

JuliusHMarx wrote:Tennis Australia were told by federal authorities that a recent infection would not necessarily be sufficient to allow entry, but they failed to pass that information on to the players.
That is what I heard.  The recent infection ruling is no longer applicable - not sure when it was changed.  It had been within 6 months of contracting (and recovering from?) Covid you didn't need to be vaccinated.  So as far as I know the original exemption was based on old regulations that have recently been changed at the federal level and that info sent out to everyone that needed to know within Australia.   Now those previously contracting covid and not vaccinated are allowed to get vaccinated over a much shorter period of time and apparently whatever Djokovic had on the original exemption is no longer valid.  Anyway there does seem to be some hard to understand issues - the State of Victoria appointed an independent board to assess the exemptions - so these people should have been well aware of new regulations because it was their job to know I presume.

ps: I had the original policy that had been changed was within 6 months. So I assume the 1 month being mentioned above is the new regulation. If he had Covid one month ago - maybe he still has it - it takes some people several months to fully recover.

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Post by lags72 Sat 08 Jan 2022, 10:43 am

@ Pal Joey - I do hope you are still with us as I’d like to compliment you on your outstanding post from yesterday (the one in response to NNB’s question).

I have been fortunate to spend a good deal of time in Australia over recent years (though no visits since 2019, for obvious reasons !) and have attended several matches at the AO. But I certainly don’t claim to have any of rhe deeper understanding of the political landscape which you, as a resident, clearly have and were able to paint so well for our benefit. You also provided a very articulate insight into how this unholy mess has been resonating with Aussies, and in ways which of course go way beyond tennis itself. In particular, your comments on Serbia, and its ill-considered attempts to ‘lecture’ Australia, are well-made.

Thank you very much for an excellent contribution to the debate thumbsup

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Post by Pal Joey Sat 08 Jan 2022, 12:17 pm

lags72 wrote:@ Pal Joey - I do hope you are still with us as I’d like to compliment you on your outstanding post from yesterday (the one in response to NNB’s question).

I have been fortunate to spend a good deal of time in Australia over recent years (though no visits since 2019, for obvious reasons !) and have attended several matches at the AO. But I certainly don’t claim to have any of rhe deeper understanding of the political landscape which you, as a resident, clearly have and were able to paint so well for our benefit. You also provided a very articulate insight into how this unholy mess has been resonating with Aussies, and in ways which of course go way beyond tennis itself. In particular, your comments on Serbia, and its ill-considered attempts to ‘lecture’ Australia, are well-made.

Thank you very much for an excellent contribution to the debate thumbsup

Thanks lags, it was the least I could do.  OK
I'm glad you appreciated my long post but thought it best to give everyone a better understanding of the current situation here.

Maybe I'm drawing a long bow here but I believe we have reached a point where there are so many complicated rules and regulations (with different emphasis in each place) coupled with heavily weighted media (dis- or mis-information) to such a degree that it's become quite tricky and difficult to discern the truth. There are too many shades of grey and too many competing agendas which are being flung in our faces every minute of every day - if you care to listen or watch the news. That's always been the case, I know, but news cycles are now measured in hours and come from so many different sources, it's hard to tell what's What. Someone once told me I should stop watching so much news if I want to stay sane. They are right! Very Happy

We are usually a pretty 'free and easy' bunch of people but like anywhere, there's always some people who are never satisfied and think they can do a better job when most likely they can't or are unqualified to do so. Seems to be more of them around these days.

I believe most of the trouble we (Australia and the rest of the world generally) are in right now is due to a loss of civilised control somewhere along the line. Everyone's a bloody expert or know-all on this and that. Many people are rude and abusive and think they're funny. Most of the rest just follow the social media and watch the crap movies made by these people. It's total mayhem really and we have gotten ourselves into a bigger and bigger mess each year as the cycle goes on and on. There are lots of good things of course; but along with the good comes the bad... and all the crap. It's social engineering gone wrong and back-firing in our faces in the most crude possible way.

The current spat between Djokovic, Tennis Australia and the Australian Government is a perfect example of that. Someone (or maybe quite a few people from all parties concerned) made a series of monumental stuff-ups and now it's all out there to be churned through the media cycles, then fed back to us... and we all scramble for some scraps.... rippin' the fur off each other as we do.  Wink

In days gone by; rules were rules and most people abided by them. There have always been dissenters, of course. However, beginning with the full-swing liberalisation of western democracies - I'm thinking from the 50 and 60s onward, the West has been pretty generous in lifting up 100s of millions of people from miserable lives and trying to educate them and establish some form of social/economic world order. The religious and politics bit, though, is very hard to manage with so many belief systems around. They now also posses the deadly tools (guns, computers and phones) to 'express' themselves.

Sure, some very terrible mistakes were made along the way and there were millions of innocent victims - we have to admit. And admissions are being made but only from one side mostly. However, it's only a few countries who have the guts to admit their past wrongs (how far back do we want to go?) whilst the vast bulk of the rest of the world still continues to inhumanely treat each other and their own people/neighbours in shockingly brutal fashion. There's nothing we can really do about that (lessons have been learned... don't get burned!) without getting tangled up again in some foreign mess, right?

Now, with over 50 years of this modern movement in operation we have inadvertently (?) created new global social dynamics which we never thought we'd have to deal with. Putin was probably right when he said something like "the West is devouring themselves." For some, their lives have been remarkably improved (which is really great) and for lots of others... well they are getting swallowed up in the massive global 'community' and shunted aside and labelled as past their Use-By Date. Now many people in the so-called 'civil democracies' are at each other's throats - over things like tennis.

Someone like Djokovic has been so very lucky to have been born when he was. He never experienced a day* of Communist rule in the former Yugoslavia. He probably knows about it from his parents though. But it's as though we have (or someone has) created this tennis-machine-monster who also seems to be a bit of a smart arse. Maybe I'm being very harsh but I almost see his recent behaviour as "crossing the line" or perhaps trying to make us seem like a bunch of complete suckers with regard to his arrival here. I see right through that though. Without being nasty or calling him names, I just wish he'd drop the pretence and at least acknowledge that there are other people in this world (besides him and his hundreds of millions of dollars) and respect the laws of countries he visits who have pretty much sponsored his rise to fame and fortune.

* born in 1987 before communism fell (when he was about 3 or 4) but he would have had a rotten time growing up in the 90s during the war.


Last edited by Pal Joey on Sat 08 Jan 2022, 12:19 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by sirfredperry Sat 08 Jan 2022, 12:19 pm

Interesting take from the BBC on Novaxgate, as it will no doubt be christened.

Djoko's infection was confirmed on Dec 16 yet on Dec 17 he was pictured appearing maskless at a postage stamp ceremony in Serbia.

Now, of course, it's not known whether he was, at this stage, aware of his positive test. If he'd been in the UK he would have been required to isolate UNTIL he'd got the result.





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Post by Born Slippy Sat 08 Jan 2022, 12:21 pm

“ On December 17th, the day *after* Djokovic’s purported positive PCR test on December 16th, Djokovic attended an award ceremony for children at the Novak Tennis Center. Many posts from the kids there posing for pictures with him that day, again masklessly indoors.”

Tweet from Ben Rothenberg, with accompanying pictures of Novak with the children.

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Post by Soul Requiem Sat 08 Jan 2022, 12:33 pm

Bringing the game into disrepute clearly doesn't matter to Djokovic, the sooner tennis is rid of him the better.

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Post by slashermcguirk Sat 08 Jan 2022, 12:45 pm

I think this legal case will be very interesting, its being reported that according to his application Djokovic did get permission from department of home affairs in early January to get into Australia. Will be interesting to see if this is the case. I still think this whole thing would have been avoided if the communications from Australia were clear. Its looking more and more like this issue stems from incorrect comms to the players. It would seem there is an error made with different authorities in oz going out with a different message. If done correctly none of these players including Djokovic would ever have travelled.

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Post by slashermcguirk Sat 08 Jan 2022, 12:49 pm

Regardless of all this, none of this would matter or have happened if the communications to the players from Australian authorities were made clear. There appears to have been a mix up on their side and the medical exemptions were pointless. Djokovic and others would never have travelled. All of this was preventable but the way I see it, the players did as were advised.

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Post by Soul Requiem Sat 08 Jan 2022, 1:01 pm

Or could have used his super intelligence to have the jab.

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Post by JuliusHMarx Sat 08 Jan 2022, 1:03 pm

I understand your need to exonerate Dkojo from blame, given you're a big fan, but none of the other players went on social media shouting about getting an exemption, nor have got their family and friends claiming he is being held prisoner or treated inhumanly or being 'tortured'.
It is the epitome of entitlement.

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Post by slashermcguirk Sat 08 Jan 2022, 1:22 pm

I already said he should get vaccinated but that's irrelevant. This was caused by players being given the wrong info on exemptions. If the messaging was correct none of them presumably would have bothered with looking for an exemption and would never have taken a plane in the first place. If you go to the root cause of the issue it's the exemptions and from what I can see they were pointless in terms of participation at the Australian open. Unless I am mistaken but that's how i see it. I agree on vaccinations and already said that

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Post by JuliusHMarx Sat 08 Jan 2022, 1:25 pm

Also, having arrived in Oz and being told his exemption was in fact valid, he could have said that he understood, and left. But no, I'm Novak Djokovic, I'm taking this to court, because why should the rules apply to me?

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Post by slashermcguirk Sat 08 Jan 2022, 1:29 pm

I think you are missing the point I am trying to make.

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Post by JuliusHMarx Sat 08 Jan 2022, 1:32 pm

I understand your point, I think you are missing mine.
Additionally, Tennis Australia had a deadline of 10th December for applying for a medical exemption. Djokovic did not test positive until 16th December.

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Post by JuliusHMarx Sat 08 Jan 2022, 1:34 pm

Remember that getting a visa does not guarantee you entry to any country and people are turned away at borders all the time with incorrect paperwork. They don't all get their parents to go on TV and claim they are prisoners.

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Post by slashermcguirk Sat 08 Jan 2022, 1:36 pm

Then why was he approved? That is the point. Let's be clear I dont agree with Djokovic approach to vaccines, my point is he and others were given the all clear. If he was given written confirmation ask the people who approved it why he got it. I am simply saying he appeared to get the go ahead and his lawyers say he got confirmation in early January that he was given the go ahead. Maybe that's not the case, we will soon find out but based on what I am seeing he got an approval as did others.

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Post by JuliusHMarx Sat 08 Jan 2022, 1:45 pm

Getting a visa does not mean you will get in the country. You could get a visa for the USA but if you tick the box 'I am a terrorist' box on the paper form on the plane, you won't get in.
Getting a visa is just the first step. If it then turns out there are overriding factors when you arrive then you don't get in. Those are the rules and they should apply to everyone, including rich and famous tennis stars. Djokovic and his supporters don't seem to understand this.

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Post by Pal Joey Sat 08 Jan 2022, 2:00 pm

JuliusHMarx wrote:Also, having arrived in Oz and being told his exemption was in fact valid, he could have said that he understood, and left. But no, I'm Novak Djokovic, I'm taking this to court, because why should the rules apply to me?

Valid or invalid, Jules? Now I'm getting confused!

If someone (in the Dept. of Home Affairs... or Immigration or whatever) mistakenly told him the wrong thing or gave him the wrong advice, leading Djokovic to believe he was doing the right thing - but in actual fact (according to the official correct requirements) he hadn't or wasn't, or even if he then thought he had been given proper approval by a Department - it shouldn't make a jot of difference with regards to satisfying the official Government requirements for persons entering the country.

Someone with balls needs to tell him that he was given incorrect advice and/or doesn't meet the requirements - if that is still the case. Just because some person in admin says the wrong thing shouldn't be grounds to argue that he has a right to enter the country. That's up to Immigration or Home Affairs to determine and they have the authority to overrule any misinterpretation or misinformation given to him.

However, if someone from Tennis Australia gave him incorrect information and led him to believe everything was in order and that he had met all the 'requirements' to enter the country; and it wasn't and he hadn't... then he can then pursue them in the courts for misleading him or whatever the correct term is. He still has to leave the country whilst his legal team pursue this claim in the courts though.

The photos from the postage stamp ceremony with kids at his tennis centre in Serbia on or around 17 December are interesting. If he had tested positive on the 16th and was out and about, not isolating nor wearing a mask the next day then that could be a problem for him. Gives the impression that he doesn't care much about anyone else and considers himself above the law or that Serbia doesn't follow similar disease control measures to other countries demanding stricter protocols... such as Australia.
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Post by JuliusHMarx Sat 08 Jan 2022, 2:17 pm

Pal Joey wrote:
JuliusHMarx wrote:Also, having arrived in Oz and being told his exemption was in fact valid, he could have said that he understood, and left. But no, I'm Novak Djokovic, I'm taking this to court, because why should the rules apply to me?

Valid or invalid, Jules? Now I'm getting confused!

Sorry, meant to put invalid. Not my best day for typos.

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Post by Born Slippy Sat 08 Jan 2022, 2:20 pm

Yes, a lot of questions arise here:

- is it correct that the cut off point for applying for a medical exemption was 10th December. If so, how did Novak apply (presumably after 16th)?

- when did Novak find out he had a positive test result? If not on 16th December, why not?

- if Novak did find out on 16th, what is he doing out and about on 17th?

- will Novak confirm he would not have sought to play in the Oz Open at all but for “unfortunately” catching COVID seemingly just in time to get an exemption?

Personally, I would be happy for Novak to play if he comes out and says that the only reason he isn’t vaccinated is because he’s recently tested positive for COVID, he now recognises vaccination is important and he will be getting vaccinated as soon as he is able to do so.

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Post by lags72 Sat 08 Jan 2022, 2:32 pm

JuliusHMarx wrote:Getting a visa does not mean you will get in the country. You could get a visa for the USA but if you tick the box 'I am a terrorist' box on the paper form on the plane, you won't get in.
……………..

THIS !

In practical terms, the only visa (where required at all) that guarantees entry to a country is a visa issued on arrival whereby all necessary credentials are actually verified at the point of entry and - once border authorities are satisfied - the traveller will be admitted.

Djokovic’s visa (such as it is …..?)  was approved remotely, but it seems very possible that he might well have given dubious information - or at least information that had either not been adequately checked by those responsible for granting exemptions, and / or cannot be supported with the evidence required by Australian Border Force.  As has been said several times upthread, Tennis Australia have some serious questions to answer (as well as ‘prisoner’ in cell block H named Djokovic)

One would hope that the Court hearing will serve to establish the key facts once and for all. Certainly a decision will be made - even if only in the shape of a temporary injunction pending a full appeal ; but this has become such a mess that I can’t help wonder if we will ever get to know the full story.

I could well be proven wrong, but my own hunch - FWIW - is that the only body to emerge with any credit will be the methodical and impartial ABF.


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Post by Pal Joey Sat 08 Jan 2022, 2:35 pm

JuliusHMarx wrote:
Pal Joey wrote:
JuliusHMarx wrote:Also, having arrived in Oz and being told his exemption was in fact valid, he could have said that he understood, and left. But no, I'm Novak Djokovic, I'm taking this to court, because why should the rules apply to me?

Valid or invalid, Jules? Now I'm getting confused!

Sorry, meant to put invalid. Not my best day for typos.

I've sent your application to Film Australia. I though you might be interested. Sally, the receptionist their, told me the boss has already approoved.
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Post by lags72 Sat 08 Jan 2022, 2:57 pm

Born Slippy wrote:

……………………………….

Personally, I would be happy for Novak to play if he comes out and says that the only reason he isn’t vaccinated is because he’s recently tested positive for COVID, he now recognises vaccination is important and he will be getting vaccinated as soon as he is able to do so.

Really ?

Do you genuinely see that as a satisfactory outcome for all concerned ? Not least in the eyes of long-suffering Melburnians, whose freedoms have been so severely restricted these past two years, and in whose city the event is held  ……. ?

Would his vaccination status subsequently be checked beyond doubt ? He has been a master of prevarication and secrecy and could well find a form of words along the lines of ‘I have taken appropriate action but prefer my medical history to remain confidential’ etc etc …….

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Post by JuliusHMarx Sat 08 Jan 2022, 3:08 pm

Pal Joey wrote:
JuliusHMarx wrote:
Pal Joey wrote:
JuliusHMarx wrote:Also, having arrived in Oz and being told his exemption was in fact valid, he could have said that he understood, and left. But no, I'm Novak Djokovic, I'm taking this to court, because why should the rules apply to me?

Valid or invalid, Jules? Now I'm getting confused!

Sorry, meant to put invalid. Not my best day for typos.

I've sent your application to Film Australia. I though you might be interested. Sally, the receptionist their, told me the boss has already approoved.

Thank's.

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Post by JuliusHMarx Sat 08 Jan 2022, 3:27 pm

Renata Voráčová has left Australia after not appealing the decision to revoke her visa.

Given that, if nothing else, Djokovic tested positive 6 days after the Tennis Australia deadline for applying for a medical exemption, does anyone really think he should be allowed to play?

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Post by Born Slippy Sat 08 Jan 2022, 4:01 pm

lags72 wrote:
Born Slippy wrote:

……………………………….

Personally, I would be happy for Novak to play if he comes out and says that the only reason he isn’t vaccinated is because he’s recently tested positive for COVID, he now recognises vaccination is important and he will be getting vaccinated as soon as he is able to do so.

Really ?

Do you genuinely see that as a satisfactory outcome for all concerned ? Not least in the eyes of long-suffering Melburnians, whose freedoms have been so severely restricted these past two years, and in whose city the event is held  ……. ?

Would his vaccination status subsequently be checked beyond doubt ? He has been a master of prevarication and secrecy and could well find a form of words along the lines of ‘I have taken appropriate action but prefer my medical history to remain confidential’ etc etc …….

I’m being facetious mainly but, in this fantasy reality, I’d also want him to have the vaccination on live TV administered by a doctor not chosen by him.

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