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.

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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.

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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 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

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"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.

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