He said this is misinformation which needs to be corrected, particularly in the interest of alleviating broader concern in the community about his presence in Australia, and to address matters which are very hurtful and concerning to his family.
"I want to emphasise that I have tried very hard to ensure the safety of everyone and my compliance with testing obligations," he said.
Djokovic explained that he attended a basketball game in Belgrade on 14 December after which it was reported that a number of people tested positive with Covid-19.
"Despite having no Covid symptoms, I took a rapid antigen test on 16 December which was negative, and out of an abundance of caution, also took an official and approved PCR test on that same day," he explained
"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 December 18, I was at my tennis centre in Belgrade to fulfill a long-standing commitment for a L’Equipe interview and photoshoot. I cancelled all other events except for the L’Equipe interview."
Djokovic said he felt obliged to go ahead and conduct the L’Equipe interview as he didn’t want to let the journalist down. He also confirmed that he socially distanced and wore a mask except when his photograph was being taken.
"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," he said.
Djokovic said on the issue of my travel declaration, this was submitted by his support team on his behalf – as he told immigration officials on his arrival - and his agent sincerely apologises for the administrative mistake in ticking the incorrect box about his 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," he said.
"While I felt it was important to address and clarify misinformation I will not be making any further comment out of utmost respect for the Australian Government and their authorities and the current process."
Djokovic added that it is always an honour and a privilege to play in the Australian Open.
"The Australian Open is much-loved by players, fans and the community, not just in Victoria and in Australia, but around the globe, and I just want to have the opportunity to compete against the best players in the world and perform before one of the best crowds in the world," he added.
Published : January 12, 2022
By : THE NATION