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Novak Djokovic's mother has made the staggering claim that her son "didn't know" he had tested positive for Covid-19 when he attended a number of events in December.
Court documents revealed last week that Djokovic tested positive for Covid-19 on December 16, which allowed him to gain a medical exemption to enter Australia.
'HARD TO WATCH': Tennis world stunned by 'alarming' scenes
However the World No.1 has been called into question after photos on social media showed him attending events while not wearing a mask on December 17 and 18.
Djokovic is said to have attended an awards ceremony at the Novak Tennis Centre in Belgrade, where he was seen posing for photos and shaking hands with children without wearing a mask.
An honor to receive my very own Serbian stamp. Thank you to my generous country for this rare gift! I’m humbled!! Excited to share we’ll partner with the Serbian National Postal Service on @novakfoundation projects for every child to have the opportunity to attend preschool 🙏🏼 pic.twitter.com/Ww8Zma95NU
— Novak Djokovic (@DjokerNole) December 17, 2021
On December 17th, the day *after* Djokovic’s purported positive PCR test on December 16th, Djokovic attended an award ceremony for children at the Novak Tennis Center.
Many posts from the kids there posing for pictures with him that day, again masklessly indoors. pic.twitter.com/2ecOSwA7lU
— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) January 8, 2022
Speaking to Sunrise on Wednesday morning, Djokovic's mother Dijana said he "probably" didn't know he had Covid when he attended the events.
“He didn’t know, probably. He didn’t know,” Dijana said.
“Because when he realised that he is positive then he goes to isolate, into isolation. Because he didn’t know.
“I really cannot say anything about that, maybe the best is to ask him.”
Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic said on Tuesday that Djokovic would have "clearly violated the rules" had he known of the test result before he participated but added: "I don't know when he received the test result, when he read it."
Addressing the furore later on Wednesday, Djokovic gave his version of events.
The World No.1 said he was unaware he had tested positive when he was photographed, but admitted to erring by showing up to a photoshoot with French newspaper L'Equipe while he should have been in isolation.
breaking: new statement from Novak Djokovic on Instagram:
- claims there has been "misinformation" about his testing/isolation
- admits he attended events in Belgrade while waiting for PCR result
- admits to "administrative mistake" on travel forms https://t.co/FNGOR1o9yk pic.twitter.com/V6HWWgDjFB
— Josh Butler (@JoshButler) January 12, 2022
Dijana Djokovic defends Novak amid controversy
Mrs Djokovic also addressed renewed scrutiny around the documents her son used to gain entry into Australia after it emerged that he appeared to have lied on a travel declaration form.
The 34-year-old ticked 'no' to a question about whether he had travelled in the 14 days before arriving in Australia, despite being filmed in Serbia and Spain in that period.
“I cannot say because I am not into it, I don’t know exactly all the issues," Dijana said.
"I’m reading in the newspapers, I didn’t talk about that with Novak so I really cannot say anything about that.
“What I can say is Judge Kelly had seven hours to listen to both sides and he decided that Novak is free, so for me this is a closed book.”
When asked if she supported her son'd decision not to get vaccinated, Dijana said: “Novak is 34-35, even me as a mother I don’t have any choice to make pressure on him.
“He has his own philosophy of his life. If he thinks like that, I can just say OK.
“I know that Novak is the most healthiest guy in the world, like a sportsman. He takes care of his life and his body so much that nobody can even imagine how.
"He’s so dedicated to this sport and dedicated to what he’s doing. He’s playing tennis and he wants to stay on the court and I know he is doing everything to take care of his body to stay healthy.
“I don’t know what is the problem if he doesn’t want to get vaccinated. That’s his choice and each person in this world has the opportunity to make a choice.
"This is like human rights. You cannot pursue him or pressure him to do this.”
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