NOVAK Djokovic has ADMITTED breaking isolation after testing positive for Covid-19 in an “error of judgement”.
The anti-vax tennis ace has been accused of repeatedly flouting Covid rules as he arrived in Australia unjabbed – sparking an ongoing battle over whether he should be deported.
Now in an Instagram post the Serbian tennis star has confessed that he met with a journalist two days after he tested positive in Belgrade, before his arrival Down Under.
He wrote: “I want to emphasise that I have tried very hard to ensure the safety of everyone and my compliance with testing obligations.
“I attended a basketball game in Belgrade on December 14 after which it was reported that a number of people tested positive with Covid-19.
“Despite having no Covid symptoms, I took a rapid antigen test on December 16 which was negative, and out of an abundance of caution, also took an official and approved PCR test on that same day.
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“The next day I attended a tennis event in Belgrade to present awards to children and took a rapid antigen test before going to the event, it was negative.
“I was asymptomatic and felt good, and I had not received the notification of a positive PCR test until after that event.
“The next day on Decemeber 18 I was at my tennis centre in Belgrade to fulfil a long-standing commitment for a L’Equipe interview and photoshoot. I cancelled all other events.
“I felt obliged to go ahead and conduct the L’Equipe interview as I didn’t want to let the journalist down.
“[I ensured] I socially distanced and wore a mask except when my photograph was being taken.”
Djokovic’s statement also addressed the huge error in his travel declaration, published by the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia earlier this week.
The anti-vaxxer ticked a box claiming he had not travelled to any other countries in the 14 days prior to his departure for the Australian Open in Melbourne.
He landed in Oz late on January 5, but social media posts showed he had spent time in Spain during that period – and was pictured practising on a tennis court in Marbella, Spain.
He attributed it to “human error” on behalf of his agent.
“On the issue of my travel declaration, this was submitted by my support team on my behalf – as I told immigration officials on my arrival – and my agent sincerely apologises for the administrative mistake in ticking the incorrect box about my previous travel before coming to Australia.”
“This was a human error and certainly not deliberate. We are living in challenging times in a global pandemic and sometimes these mistakes can occur.”
On its website, the Home Affairs Department warns that giving “false or misleading information” to the government is “a serious offence” carrying a possible jail term.
Australian immigration minister Alex Hawke has said a decision will not be made on Wednesday over whether to cancel Djokovic’s visa.
The minister has since Monday been considering personally intervening in the matter after Djokovic won his court battle against the Australian Border Force.
Djokovic has not openly spoken about his jab status, but last year did admit that he was “opposed” to vaccination.
On January 4, the anti-vaxxer boasted he was heading to Melbourne to play at the Australian Open after being given an exemption.
But on arrival, the Serbian ace was held at an immigration centre after his visa was dramatically cancelled, and then housed in a quarantine hotel.
Lawyers for the 20-time Grand Slam winner argued that he didn’t need to have the vaccine as he had already had Covid and that border force officials hadn’t given enough notice to revoke his visa.
A judge on Monday ruled should be released from detention.
But despite a judge ruling the decision to cancel his visa was “unreasonable”, the anti-vaxxer could still be booted out of the country by the Aussie government.