Shane Warne seeks answers after spin in Djoker’s visa saga
The Novak Djokovic saga has drawn worldwide attention and one sporting legend born in Victoria, Australia, is “embarrassed” to say the least. Australia spin wizard Shane Warne on Tuesday said he would like answers to some basic questions regarding the whole episode.
He wanted to know whether the Serbian tennis star attended public events despite being Covid-19 positive and who exactly gave him the medical exemption to travel to Melbourne to play in the Australian Open.
Djokovic’s visa was cancelled on landing and he was placed in detention. But he fought a court battle to have it reinstated on Monday.
The world’s No 1 men’s tennis player submitted that he did not need the vaccine as he tested positive for the virus just last month. Outrage followed when pictures of him at public events at the time of his illness were widely shared.
“Are these facts true? As I’ve read so many different reports in this messy embarrassing saga. Novak tested positive to covid Dec 16 & attended a public event on the 17th that inc (included) children. Said he hadn't travelled in 14 days before arriving in Oz but travelled Jan 2 to Spain?” tweeted Warne.
The tennis star is alleged to have made a false declaration when he said he had not travelled outside his Serbian homeland in the fortnight before he arrived in Australia last week.
Some media reports suggested that Djokovic appeared in Marbella, Spain, on January 2, prompting a fresh investigation by the Australian Border Force.
Warne, born in the Melbourne suburb of Ferntree Gully in Victoria state, represented Australia in 145 Tests and went on to become one of the most successful spinners with 708 wickets, second only to Sri Lankan Muttiah Muralitharan’s 800 scalps.
The 52-year-old Warne wanted clarity on who allowed the medical exemption for Djokovic in a tweet.
“And did Novak have a medical exemption? If so has the person who gave it to him been identified? What was that exemption? Just trying to get the facts as I'm embarrassed as a Victorian at this situation. Vic Govt are quiet? Can someone explain to us in plain Eng please,” he wrote.
Top tennis players, including Andy Murray and Australia’s very own Nick Kygios, empathised with the Serb even as Rafael Nadal said Djokovic made a conscious choice which had consequences.
Djokovic had constantly said he is “opposed to vaccination” and “wouldn’t want to be forced by someone” to take it for travelling or competing.