Novak Djokovic sponsor's telling statement with $41m on the line

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·Sports Reporter
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Novak Djokovic (pictured) challenging a call during the Australian Open.
One of Novak Djokovic's major sponsors, Lacoste, said they would speak to the World No.1 following the saga that occurred at the Australian Open. (Getty Images)

One of Novak Djokovic's major sponsors, Lacoste, says it will 'review' the situation around the World No.1 after his deportation from Australia ahead of the first grand slam of the year.

Djokovic returned home to Serbia on Monday after being deported from Australia and denied the chance to play in Melbourne.

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The 11-day legal battle overshadowed the lead-up to the Australian Open as the World No.1 lost his fight to have his visa reinstated.

In his latest blow, Djokovic is facing the possibility of being banned from the French Open after a new vaccine mandate.

And clothing apparel brand Lacoste has now released a statement in response to the saga, which has created worldwide attention.

"As soon as possible we will be in touch with Novak Djokovic to review the events that have accompanied his presence in Australia," the statement read.

One of the questions that remained after Djokovic's exit from Australia was how his major sponsors would react.

Djokovic earns an estimated $41 million annually from sponsors, according to Forbes.

His sponsors range from Hublot watches, racquet company Head, clothing brands Asics and Lacoste, as well as car company Peugeot.

Djokovic's Lacoste contract is his most lucrative, valued at around $9 million by several American media outlets.

Marcel Knobil, founder of Superbrands and the Brand Council consultancy, told The Telegraph that Djokovic’s annual endorsements could be at risk if he embraces his supposed image as “the anti-vaxx poster boy”.

Novak Djokovic (pictured) serving during Day 5 of the Miami Open.
Novak Djokovic (pictured) is spnsored by Peugeot. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)

Novak Djokovic faces new French Open challenge

Upon his arrival in Serbia, Djokovic now faces a new predicament.

He could be barred from the French Open this year too if he’s still not vaccinated against Covid-19.

France's sports ministry announced on Monday that elite sportspeople would need to be vaccinated to perform in the country.

The ministry said a new vaccine pass, approved by the French parliament on Sunday, "applies to everyone, to volunteers and to elite sportspeople, including those coming from abroad, until further notice."

The move appears to contradict an assertion from Sports Minister Roxana Maracineanu last week that certain events like the French Open had a special exemption which could allow Djokovic to play in the tournament without being vaccinated against coronavirus.

Major events like the French Open previously permitted unvaccinated athletes to compete, as they operated a health bubble around the tournament.

with agencies

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