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- Serbian tennis player
Questions are again being asked of Novak Djokovic's actions in the days following his positive Covid-19 result, after the World No.1 won his legal battle to remain in Australia.
On Monday evening, the World No.1 went for a late-night hit at Rod Laver Arena after a judge overturned the federal government's decision to cancel Djokovic's visa and send him home.
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It seemingly ended a lengthy saga that looked like seeing the 34-year-old deported after his vaccination exemption to enter Australia was deemed insufficient.
The unvaccinated tennis star was released after being confined to an immigration hotel for four nights, in a drama that has gripped the world.
The judge ruled the the 20-time major winner had not been given enough time to speak to his lawyers before the decision was made to cancel his visa and ordered the government to release him from the Melbourne quarantine hotel where he was being held.
Djokovic's exemption was granted by two independent medical boards appointed by Tennis Australia, on the assumption that he did not need to be vaccinated because he'd contracted Covid-19 within the last six months.
According to court documents submitted during his hearing, Djokovic was tested at 1.05pm on December 16 and received a positive result at 8.19pm that same day.
The telling revelation provides clarity around whether the Serb knew he was Covid-positive when he attended several public events maskless in the days that followed.
Photos have emerged on social media of Djokovic attending indoor events without a mask, with the most recent coming on December 17 - the day after he received a positive result.
One photo posted on his Twitter account on December 17 shows a maskless Djokovic receiving his very own commemorative stamp from the Serbian National Postal Service.
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
He was also seen attending an award ceremony for children at the Novak Tennis Centre on the same day - again without a mask and surrounded by kids while indoors.
Another photo shows Djokovic posing for a photo for French publication L'Equipe on December 18, two days after his test - sparking outcry that he'd recklessly put the public at risk in the knowledge that he had coronavirus.
A previous tweet claimed Novak Djokovic went to a stamp ceremony on the 17th of December, after testing positive for COVID on the 16th.
Turns out, they were on the same day. But even if we give him the benefit of the doubt, THIS was definitely on the 17th… pic.twitter.com/HTdmyTiLS9
— Alastair McAlpine, MD (@AlastairMcA30) January 8, 2022
French newspaper L'Équipe reveals that Novak Djokovic "posed without a mask during the presentation of the Champion of Champions 2021 trophy" on December 18, two days after allegedly testing positive for covid-19 (according to his lawyers).
You cannot make this stuff up... pic.twitter.com/y2Cf92ds93
— Gaspar Ribeiro Lança (@gasparlanca) January 8, 2022
Family refuses to answer telling question
Djokovic's family spoke at a press conference after his release from detention in Melbourne, where they hit out at Australia's treatment of the 34-year-old, likening the ordeal to "torture".
However, when asked about the incriminating photos of the maskless tennis star in the days after his positive Covid-19 test, the Serb's brother Djordje immediately shut the press conference down.
A reporter said: “Was he at an event on the 17th of December in Belgrade?”
Djordje responded with a wry smile before exclaiming: “So, ah, this press conference is adjourned at the moment".
Novak Djokovic supporters clash with Melbourne police
It comes after dozens of Djokovic supporters clashed with police in Melbourne, following news that he had won the legal battle.
Two police were injured and a man arrested after crowds gathered outside Djokovic's lawyers' office in Melbourne to celebrate a court overturning his visa cancellation.
Dozens of the tennis star's supporters gathered outside the Flinders Lane office in the centre of the city on Monday night.
Videos show a man jumping on a black car after it left the building.
— Sky News (@SkyNews) January 10, 2022
The crowd, some waving Serbian and Greek flags, surrounded police while chanting "Novak", before fans were pepper sprayed by the officers.
Victoria Police said they were forced to use the spray "due to the aggressive behaviour of the crowd".
A 27-year-old Hampton man was arrested during the incident but has since been released from custody.
He is expected to be charged on summons with assaulting police and "acting in a riotous manner".
Two police, a male leading senior constable and a female constable, received minor injuries that did not require medical treatment.
Djokovic had an immigration official's decision to cancel his visa overturned by a Federal Circuit Court judge on Monday, but Immigration Minister Alex Hawke still has discretionary power under the Migration Act to remove him from the country.
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