After days of speculation, Novak Djokovic has admitted that he attended events even after testing positive for the virus.
The World No 1 has received a medical exemption for the Australian Open because he contracted the virus on December 16.
The following day, however, he appeared without a mask at the launch of a Serbian stamp bearing his image and at an event in Belgrade for young tennis players.
STATEMENT BY NOVAK DJOKOVIC
12 January 2022https://t.co/qhreHUYlQ8
— Novak Djokovic (@DjokerNole) January 12, 2022
The player said he had a negative rapid antigen test on December 16 and then had the PCR test out of an “abundance of caution”.
“I was asymptomatic and felt good, and I had not received the notification of a positive PCR test until after that event,” he said.
But Djokovic admitted that he also went ahead with an interview and photoshoot despite knowing about the positive test.
“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,” he said.
“On reflection, this was an error of judgement and I accept that I should have rescheduled this commitment.”
Though Djokovic was allowed to enter Australia after a court order, there may be more diplomatic trouble for the tennis star.
At immigration, he declared that he had not travelled anywhere in the last few days when in fact he had been training in Spain for the Melbourne major.
“On the issue of my travel declaration, this was submitted by my support team on my behalf,” Djokovic said on Instagram.
“My agent sincerely apologises for the administrative mistake in ticking the incorrect box about my previous travel before coming to Australia.
Djokovic is set to defend his title at the Australian Open, which begins on January 17.