Australia revokes top seed Djokovic's visa for 2nd time
In latest twist in COVID row, Serbian tennis superstar's visa canceled on 'health and good order grounds'
In the latest twist in the row over Novak Djokovic's COVID-19 status, Australian authorities on Friday revoked the Serbian tennis superstar's visa for a second time.
"Today I exercised my power under section 133C(3) of the Migration Act to cancel the visa held by Mr Novak Djokovic on health and good order grounds, on the basis that it was in the public interest to do so," Immigration Minister Alex Hawke said in a statement.
"This decision followed orders by the Federal Circuit and Family Court on 10 January 2022, quashing a prior cancellation decision on procedural fairness grounds," he added.
Hawke also stated that he "carefully considered information" provided to him by the Interior Ministry, the Australian Border Force, and Djokovic, the nine-time Australian Open champion.
"The Morrison Government is firmly committed to protecting Australia's borders, particularly in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic," Hawke added, thanking the Australian public offices who serve the country's interests during challenging times.
In addition, Djokovic is likely to face a three-year ban on a new Australian visa.
On Jan. 4, Djokovic, 34, said he had been granted a medical exemption from being vaccinated for COVID-19, but after his arrival, the Australian Border Force canceled his visa for failing to meet the COVID-19 entry requirements.
After the world No. 1 was sent to an immigration detention hotel in Melbourne, a federal court ordered his release.
Australia mandates all players to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to compete in this year's first major tennis tournament.
Djokovic has refused to say whether or not he has been vaccinated against the coronavirus.
He was included in the official draw for this year's Australian Open on Thursday.
The 2022 Australian Open, the first Grand Slam of the year, will begin next Monday in Melbourne.