Novak Djokovic called ‘lying, sneaky a**ehole' by news anchors over vax rowJanuary 11, 2022
NOVAK Djokovic has been labelled a “lying, sneaky a**ehole” over his ongoing vaccine row.
In leaked hot mic footage from two Australian news anchors, the current world number one was blasted for his off-field behaviour amid accusations that he lied on his travel forms.
7 News presenters, Rebecca Maddern and Mike Amor, made the comments during an ad break and were unaware that they were being filmed.
As they came off air, Maddern opened the conversation by accusing Djokovic of lying.
"Whatever way you look at it, Novak Djokovic is a lying, sneaky a***hole," she told her colleague.
"Like whatever way you look at it, it’s unfortunate that everybody else stuffed up around him."
Co-host Amor then agreed: "Yeah he’s an a***hole. He is an a***hole."
Maddern questioned the legitimacy of the Serb's negative PCR test which is believed to have granted him an exemption.
She argued: "Like, to go out when you know you’re Covid positive- Well, I don’t think he was even Covid positive."
Her colleague added that he expects the nine-time Aussie champ to "get away with it" and be allowed to compete at this year’s tournament.
Their comments came after reports emerged that Aussie Border Force officials were investigating whether the tennis star falsely claimed he had not visited another country on his application to fly to Oz.
Aussie Border Force officials are investigating whether the tennis star falsely claimed he had not visited another country on his application to fly to Oz.
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The anti-vaxxer put on his travel declaration that he had not been abroad in the 14 days before landing in Oz – but pictures show him in two different countries within that time period.
On its website, the Home Affairs Department warns that giving "false or misleading information" to the government is “a serious offence” carrying a possible jail term.
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“If convicted, the maximum penalty is imprisonment for 12 months,” it says.
Tennis ace Djokovic – who is based in Monte Carlo – was filmed playing tennis in the streets of the Serbian capital Belgrade on December 25.
A picture shared on Twitter also shows him beaming beside handball player Petar Djordjic in Belgrade the same day.
Then days later, the 34-year-old was reportedly filmed training in Spain on December 31 and posing for a group photograph the same day.
Djokovic was also snapped player football in Marbella, Spain, with his brother Marko and a coach on January 4.
Those dates fall within the 14-day period before the reigning Australian Open champ touched down in Melbourne late on January 5, having flown out from Spain via Dubai.
But on his Australian Travel Declaration – released by the federal court yesterday – Djokovic ticked the box claiming he had NOT travelled before his arrival.
Australian Border Force officials are now investigating whether Djokovic lied on his visa forms.
Applicants are warned on the form: “Note: Giving false or misleading information is a serious offence. You may also be liable to a civil penalty for giving false or misleading information.”
Djokovic told border officers that Tennis Australia completed the declaration on his behalf, but it was noted by the officer who cancelled his visa that the sporting body would have facilitated that based on information the visa holder provided.
According to his sworn affidavit, Djokovic departed Spain on January 4 and had a stopover in Dubai before landing in Melbourne late on the night of January 5.
The timings mean Djokovic would have had to be in Spain from 11.30pm on December 22 AEDT, or 1.30pm Spanish time to comply with the rules not to travel within two weeks of arriving in Australia.
But social media posts appear to show him in Serbia after this date.
The tennis star's fresh deportation risk comes as a minister mulls whether to again revoke his visa after it was reinstated by a judge.
Unvaccinated Djokovic returned to training in Melbourne yesterday hours after being freed from detention after winning his visa court battle.
He returned Tuesday for a closed practice, with doors locked and only his support team allowed into Rod Laver Arena.
Aerial images taken by Australian TV networks from a helicopter showed the nine-time Australian Open winner back at work, less than a week before the first Grand Slam tournament of the year is due to start.
But despite a judge ruling the decision to cancel his visa was “unreasonable”, the anti-vaxxer could still be booted out of the country by the Aussie government.
Ministerial powers could be used to again revoke Djokovic's visa and order his removal from the country, which would result in him being banned for three years.
Immigration Minister Alex Hawke could use "personal discretion" to move ahead with another cancellation.
The Aussie government has confirmed Mr Hawke is still considering whether to cancel Djokovic's visa.
A spokesman said: "In line with due process, Minister Hawke will thoroughly consider the matter.
"As the issue is ongoing, for legal reasons it is inappropriate to comment further."
Although he still faces being thrown out of Oz, Djokovic has insisted he wants to stay and compete.
The world men's number one tweeted on Monday: "I’m pleased and grateful that the Judge overturned my visa cancellation.
"Despite all that has happened, I want to stay and try to compete @AustralianOpen I remain focused on that. I flew here to play at one of the most important events we have in front of the amazing fans.
"For now I cannot say more but THANK YOU all for standing with me through all this and encouraging me to stay strong".
Djokovic shared his message alongside a picture of him training at Melbourne's Rod Laver Arena just hours after he was released from immigration detention.
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