How Djokovic’s vaccine scepticism fuelled an international sporting controversy

In The News: What does the tennis star’s vaccine saga mean for future sporting events?

Last Thursday, in the early hours of January 6th, Novak Djokovic was denied entry into Australia. The Serbian tennis superstar, who is not vaccinated against Covid-19, had been granted a medical exemption to play in the Australian Open. However, upon arrival in Melbourne, his visa was revoked.

On Monday, Djokovic won an appeal against Australia’s decision not to grant him a visa and was released from the immigration detention centre where he was staying.

However, Djokovic's fate remains uncertain – Australia's immigration minister could still overrule the decision and send him back to Belgrade. But Djokovic has made it clear he wants to stay and compete in next week's tournament.

Djokovic is a character who can “polarise” people and thrives on the friction he creates through “his politics, his anti-vaxx stance or his conspiracy theories,” Irish Times sports writer Johnny Watterson told In the News.


In the News is presented by reporters Sorcha Pollak and Conor Pope.

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Sorcha Pollak

Sorcha Pollak

Sorcha Pollak is an Irish Times reporter and cohost of the In the News podcast