Djokovic admits 'error of judgment' by breaking isolation rules while Covid positive

12 January 2022, 06:42 | Updated: 12 January 2022, 07:32

Novak Djokovic attended an interview with a French journalist despite a positive PCR test
Novak Djokovic attended an interview with a French journalist despite a positive PCR test. Picture: Alamy

By Daisy Stephens

Novak Djokovic has admitted he made an "error of judgement" by attending an interview with a French journalist after testing positive for coronavirus.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

In a statement posted on his Instagram account, the men's number one admitted doing an interview with French sports newspaper L'Equipe the day after receiving a positive PCR test in December.

"On 18 December I was at my tennis centre in Belgrade to fulfil a long-standing commitment for a L'Equipe interview and photoshoot," wrote the 34-year-old.

"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 did ensure I socially distanced and wore a mask except when my photograph was being taken.

Read more: 'I want to stay' says Djokovic, but bid to play in Australian Open still hangs in balance

Read more: Djokovic's wife calls for 'love and forgiveness' as tennis star held in anti-vax row

"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 rescheduled this commitment."

The 20-times grand slam winner also admitted attending a children's tennis event the day after being tested for the virus, but said: "I had not received the notification of a positive PCR test result until after that event."

He added he had no symptoms and took a lateral flow test before the event, which came back negative.

Djokovic's statement also addressed the widely reported discrepancy in his travel declaration, published by the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia earlier this week.

He attributed it to "human error" on behalf of his agent.

Read more: Djokovic not told 'Covid exemption' would be accepted, Australian government claims

Read more: Anti-vaxx tennis star Novak Djokovic breaks silence amid Covid visa row

"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," he said, after it was revealed he had travelled recently despite telling Australian officials otherwise.

"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."

Andrew Castle says the Djokovic saga has eclipsed the tennis

Djokovic has been at the heart of a row about his Covid vaccination status.

Upon arrival in Melbourne for the Australian Open last Wednesday, he was detained and held in a hotel until he won his appeal in the early hours of Monday morning.

Read more: Armed police stand-off with father who has son, 8, in house in Coventry enters fourth day

Read more: Boris Johnson set to break silence on Partygate ahead of PMQs

Since then he had been walking free, but his participation in the tournament still hangs in the balance as the immigration minister Alex Hawke could still choose to exercise his personal power and deport him.

Mr Hawke has said he will not make a decision on Wednesday about whether Djokovic can remain in the country despite not having had his Covid jabs.

Latest World News

See more Latest World News

Taiwan’s president Lai Ching-te

Taiwan scrambles jets and puts naval units on alert over China’s military drills

Volunteers provide lime sugar water to people at a camp set up to prevent heat stroke in Karachi

Doctors treat hundreds of heatstroke victims as Pakistan hit by heatwave

A Russian army rocket launcher at an undisclosed location in Ukraine

Seven killed by Russian missiles in Ukraine’s second-largest city

Michael Schumacher in 2012

Michael Schumacher’s family wins case against publisher over fake AI interview

The flag-draped coffins of the president Ebrahim Raisi and his companions who were killed in a helicopter crash, during their funeral ceremony in the city of Mashhad, Iran

Iran begins burying late president and others killed in helicopter crash

Residents hug in front of their tornado-damaged home in Greenfield, Iowa

Five dead and dozens injured in tornadoes that tore through Iowa, say officials

A sign indicating the Storskog border crossing between Russia and Norway

Norway further tightens restrictions on entry of Russians

Severe Weather Iowa

Five dead in Iowa tornadoes with casualties expected to rise

New Caledonia

Emmanuel Macron says priority is return to calm amid unrest in New Caledonia

New York-Sexual Assault Evidence

Senate passes bill to tighten law used to overturn Harvey Weinstein conviction

Security forces stand around a stage that collapsed due to a gust of wind during an event attended by Mexican presidential candidate Jorge Alvarez Maynez on the outskirts of Monterey

Nine dead as high wind topples stage at Mexican campaign rally

Security forces stand around a stage that collapsed due to a gust of wind during an event

Nine dead, including child, and at least 60 others injured after stage collape at election rally in Mexico

Local residents clean up debris from a tornado in Greenfield, Iowa

Five dead and 35 injured after tornados leave path of destruction in Iowa

APTOPIX Severe Weather Iowa

Four dead and at least 35 hurt in Iowa tornado, officials say

Israel Palestinians

First aid from US pier in Gaza has reached starving Palestinians, the UN says

Election 2024 Haley

Nikki Haley says she will vote for Donald Trump following their disputes