Novak Djokovic’s positive COVID-19 test is valid, say Serbian prosecutors
BELGRADE, Serbia — Prosecutors for the Republic of Serbia on Wednesday dismissed suggestions that Novak Djokovic used a false positive test for COVID-19 to attempt to enter Australia and compete at the Australian Open.
The prosecutor’s office said in a statement that it had received a request for criminal prosecution against anonymous individuals who allegedly falsified two PCR certificates, which were later used by Djokovic to seek medical exemption from vaccination when entering Australia. .
“The prosecution acted in accordance with the regulations, checks were carried out and it was determined that Novak Djokovic was tested several times and that the certificates on the test results of December 16, 2021 and December 22, 2021 are valid”, says the press release.
Foreign media, including Der Spiegel and the BBC, reported discrepancies in the serial numbers of the tests that the Serbian authorities administered to the best Djokovic before his trip to Australia, suggesting possible irregularities in the way they were issued.
Djokovic’s media team and Serbian health authorities did not respond to requests for comment from The Associated Press. Senior Serbian health officials have previously said Djokovic’s test was valid.
Djokovic was expelled from Australia and banned from playing at the Australian Open last month after an 11-day visa saga on the eve of the tournament because he failed to meet Australia’s strict requirements regarding vaccination against COVID-19.
To enter Australia, Djokovic submitted a positive COVID-19 test issued in Serbia on December 16 for a visa waiver on the grounds that he had recently recovered from the virus.
The 34-year-old is unvaccinated and the Australian government subsequently decided to cancel his visa and deport Djokovic, saying his presence in the country could spark anti-vaccination sentiments.
Rafael Nadal won the Australian Open for a record 21st Grand Slam men’s title. Both Djokovic and Roger Federer have 20 major titles.
Djokovic is adored in his native Serbia. Since returning home, Djokovic has been seen visiting churches and attending liturgies in Serbia and neighboring Montenegro.
On Thursday, Djokovic is due to visit populist Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, who has strongly denounced Australian authorities for deporting the tennis star.