Novak Djokovic investigation suggests positive Covid test may be falsified

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An investigation into Novak Djokovic’s positive COVID-19 test on December 16 has incredibly raised questions around its validity. The World No 1’s participation at the Australian Open remains in doubt despite a judge ruling against the government’s attempts to deport him. 

Djokovic landed in Melbourne last week ahead of the tournament, which is due to begin on January 17.  

He was initially granted a medical exemption by Tennis Australia because he is unvaccinated against COVID-19. However, upon landing, he was detained in a state-run immigration facility and told he would be deported. 

Djokovic appealed the decision, with a Judge ruling on Monday that he should be allowed to stay.  

The 34-year-old’s appeal was based on a December 16 positive Covid test.  

However, further investigation suggests that the test might actually have taken place on December 26.

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Der Spiegel report that the digital results show a timestamp for 2:21pm, Serbian time, on Boxing Day. However, they add that it could also be the time that Djokovic downloaded the result from the server. 

Furthermore, upon scanning the test at 1:19pm on Monday, the result says: “Test result negative”. A second scan just over an hour later, bizarrely, reads: “Test result positive”. 

Djokovic has also conceded that he did breach isolation rules to conduct an interview on December 18. However, he has denied that he knew he was positive when attending a children’s event two days earlier – the date on which he claims he tested positive.  

“I attended a basketball game in Belgrade on Dec 14 after which it was reported that a number of people tested positive with Covid,” an excerpt from an Instagram statement says. 

“Despite having no Covid symptoms, I took a rapid antigen test on Dec 16 which was negative, and out of an abundance of caution, also took an official and approved PCR test on that same day. 

“The next day I attended a tennis event in Belgrade to present awards to children and took a rapid antigen test before going to the event, and it was negative.

“I was asymptomatic and felt good, and I had not received the notification of a positive PCR test result until after that event. 

“The next day, on Dec 18 I was at my tennis centre in Belgrade to fulfil a long-standing commitment for a L’Equipe interview and photoshoot. I cancelled all other events except for the L’Equipe interview. 

“I felt obliged to go ahead and conduct the L’Equipe interview as I didn’t want to let the journalist down, but I did ensure I socially distanced and wore a mask except when my photograph was being taken.

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“While I went home after the interview to isolate for the required period, on reflection, this was an error of judgement and I accept that I should have reschedule this commitment.” 

He added: “On the issue of my travel declaration, this was submitted by my support team on my behalf – as I told immigration officials on my arrival – and my agent sincerely apologises for the administrative mistake in ticking the incorrect box about my previous travel before coming to Australia.  

“This was a human error and certainly not deliberate. We are living in challenging times in a global pandemic and sometimes these mistakes can occur.  

“Today, my team has provided additional information to the Australian Government to clarify this matter.” 

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