Tennis Championship: The Australian Open has granted Novak Djokovic a Covid-19 vaccine ‘exemption’

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Tennis Championship
Source: Skysports

Tennis Championship: Novak Djokovic claims to have “exemption authorization” to compete in the Australian Open without having received the Covid-19 vaccine.

Djokovic has never said if he is immune to Covid-19, but he has criticised rules requiring players to be double-jabbed.

On Tuesday, he tweeted on social media, “I’ve spent excellent quality time with my loved ones during the vacation, and today I’m travelling Down Under with an exemption permit.”

Players must be double-vaccinated against Covid-19 in Victoria, where the Australian Open will begin on January 17.

Djokovic had been nominated on Serbia’s team for the ATP Cup in Sydney but withdrew from the tournament, which serves as a typical warm-up for the Australian Open, leaving his participation in the Grand Slam a mystery.

On Tuesday, an Australia Open media statement stated, “Novak Djokovic will compete at the Australian Open and is on his way to Australia.”

“Djokovic requested a medical exemption, which was granted after a thorough evaluation by two distinct independent panels of medical specialists.

“The Victorian Department of Health appointed the Independent Medical Exemption Review Panel as one of them. All applications were evaluated to see if they adhered to the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (ATAGI) criteria.

“The Victorian Department of Health and Tennis Australia have finalised the COVID-19 vaccination guidelines for the Australian Open, including the process for players seeking medical exemptions.”

“Applications for a medical exemption were first assessed by an expert panel made up of specialists from the fields of immunology, infectious disease, and general practise, as part of an independent process.”

“Applications that passed the national requirements set by the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) were then subjected to a second review by the Independent Medical Exemption Review Team, a government-appointed panel of medical specialists.

“Only ATAGI guidelines were used to assess and approve the submissions. Personal information was redacted as part of the process to guarantee that all applicants’ privacy was protected.

“The Australian Open’s multi-step independent assessment process was created to safeguard everyone’s safety.”

Craig Tiley, the Tournament Director for the Australian Open, added: “Fair and independent standards for evaluating medical exemption applications have been created, allowing us to ensure that the Australian Open 2022 is safe and pleasant for everybody.

“The fact that the judgments were made by impartial medical professionals and that every candidate was given appropriate consideration was important to this process.”

Djokovic is the most successful player in Australian Open history, with 20 Grand Slams to his name, tied with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

Federer will miss the Australian Open owing to injury, but Nadal has stated that he will compete despite testing positive for Covid-19.

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