Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic has been ruled out of this month’s Australian Open in Melbourne, prompting an angry response from health officials and residents.
Tennis Australia has announced that Djokovic, the reigning Australian Open champion, has been granted a medical exemption following a “rigorous review process” by a panel of two independent medical experts, including one appointed by the Victoria Health Department.
The 34-year-old soldier refused to confirm his vaccination status, but publicly opposed compulsory vaccinations.
Craig Tyle, director of the Australian Open, stressed that all players, fans and staff in tennis must be fully vaccinated.
He told Broadcaster 9 News that a few applicants, including Djokovic, had been exempted from compliance with other immunizations entering Australia after the review process, which went “above and beyond.” “In the end it was the decision of the medical professionals,” he said.
This has provoked a strong reaction in the state of Victoria, which hosts tennis tournaments, which has recently emerged from the world’s most severe lockdown restrictions and the government has ordered some workers to be fully vaccinated.
Stephen Burns, a physician and former vice president of the Australian Medical Association, said on social media that the decision to allow Djokovic to pay had sent “a terrible message to millions” aimed at reducing the risk of Covit-19. “I do not care how good a tennis player he is. If he refuses to be vaccinated, he should not be allowed inside, ”he said.
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