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Channel 7 newsreaders Mike Amor and Rebecca Maddern have been caught making disparaging remarks about Novak Djokovic in an explosive leaked video.
Immigration Minister Alex Hawke is still weighing up whether to use his discretionary powers to cancel the visa of World No.1 tennis player Djokovic.
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On Monday, a federal court overturned the cancellation of Djokovic's visa, seemingly freeing him to compete at the Australian Open.
However there are fresh concerns that Djokovic may have lied on his visa application about whether he had travelled in the 14 days prior to coming to Australia.
There are also question marks around whether he isolated in the days after testing positive for Covid-19 on December 16, with photos emerging of him attending events in Serbia.
While preparing to read the 6pm news in Melbourne on Tuesday night, Amor and Maddern made their feelings known.
In a video that has been leaked on social media, Amor and Maddern can be heard making disparaging remarks about the tennis star while off-air.
“Whatever way you look at it, Novak Djokovic is a lying, sneaky, a***hole,” Maddern said.
“It’s unfortunate that everybody else stuffed up around him. To go out when you know you’re Covid-positive - well, I don’t think he was even Covid-positive …”
Amor also labelled Djokovic an “a***hole”, saying: “You’ve got a bulls**t f***ing excuse and then he fell over his own f***ing lies, which is what happens right? That’s what’s happened.
“I think he’s going to get away with it.
“I think most fair-minded people would say, ‘The bloke’s an a***hole’. Did they do the right thing by him? I don’t know. They f***ed it up. That’s the problem, isn’t it.”
Channel 7 responded to the video on Wednesday morning.
“The illegal recording was of a private conversation between two colleagues. It was an underhanded, cowardly act in breach of the Victorian Listening Devices legislation the perpetrator of which will be accordingly dealt with when found," said Seven's Director of News and Public Affairs Craig McPherson.
Maddern only re-joined Channel 7 last week after leaving Channel 9.
Novak Djokovic could still be deported despite court win
Meanwhile, Immigration Minister Hawke is still yet to make a decision on whether Djokovic should be deported despite his victory in court.
The immigration Minister has the discretionary power to deport Djokovic.
"In line with due process, Minister Hawke will thoroughly consider the matter," a spokesman said on Tuesday.
"As the issue is ongoing, for legal reasons it is inappropriate to comment further."
Should such a discretionary decision be made, Djokovic could be banned from entering the country for three years.
Court documents have also raised fresh questions about the tennis star's status to enter the country.
Djokovic told authorities on a border declaration form he had not travelled in the two-week period before his flight to Australia.
However, Djokovic was filmed playing tennis in the streets of Belgrade in Serbia on Christmas Day and training in Spain on December 31, both within the 14-day window.
The declaration notes that giving false or misleading information is a serious offence, while civil penalties are also available.
Djokovic was detained in immigration detention last week for arriving into the country unvaccinated with an invalid exemption, in breach of Australia's border laws, and his visa was cancelled as a result.
However, the federal court quashed the decision, after government lawyers conceded the decision made during an early morning immigration interview was unreasonable in the circumstances.
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