A JOURNALIST who interviewed Novak Djokovic said he did not know the tennis star had tested positive for Covid and insisted he was not authorized to ask about his vaccine status.
Tennis star tested positive for Covid on December 16 and then had an interview with French media outlet L’Equipe on December 18 – when he learned he had the virus.
Serb is not vaccinated for Covid-19 and was refused entry to Australia last week despite receiving an exemption for jab.
He is waiting to see if he can compete at this year’s Australian Open after won a court appeal to stay in the country.
But Franck Ramella, the journalist who did the interview in December, has now said he was unaware of Djokovic’s positive Covid test result. until he was detained at Melbourne Airport.
Ramella said he himself tested negative this week before flying to Australia to watch the tournament again.
He wrote on L’Equipe: “We went to the interview. The instructions were clear: there were no questions about vaccinations and Serb’s intentions for the Australian Open.
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“The subjects are very delicate, if you still have doubts. We didn’t think to ask him if he was thinking of taking the test.
“And if so, what were the results.
“According to the timer, in 33 minutes, Djokovic answered the questions convincingly.
“We were both secured, sitting about a meter across from each other on either side of a long rectangular table.
Asked by Etienne to take off his mask for five minutes during the interview, Djokovic refused.
Earlier today, the world number one released a statement admitting he attended the interview despite knowing he had contracted the virus in an attempt to honor his “commitment”.
He wrote: “While I went home from my interview to quarantine for the time needed, this was reflected in a mistake in judgment and I accept that I should have pushed back on this commitment. ”
Djokovic blamed his agent for an “administrative error” after he claimed he had not traveled for two weeks before his flight to Australia.
But it has emerged that he was in Belgrade less than two weeks before his flight from Spain to Australia on January 4.
He added: “My agent sincerely apologizes for the administrative error in checking the incorrect box regarding my previous travel prior to arrival in Australia.
“This was a human error and certainly not intentional.”
A former top official warned he can now be arrested on the tennis court by armed police if his visa is deported.
Djokovic’s new threat of deportation comes as a minister considers whether to revoke his visa again after it was reinstated by a judge.
Anti-vaxxer back to training in Melbourne on Monday hours after being released from custody after winning his visa battle.
But despite a judge ruling that his visa cancellation was “absurd”, the player could still be deported from the country by the Australian government.
This happens as the nine-time Serbian wins Down Under received his marching orders after a six-hour stop at Melbourne’s Tullamarine Airport.
When the 34-year-old star attempted to enter Aussie territory, he was asked by Border Patrol to be put in a room next door after a visa “flaw” was revealed.
He was initially exempt from vaccination – his lawyer said, because he contracted Covid-19 in December – to compete before his visa was significantly cancelled.
Even Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic joined in, eventually reaching out to Djokovic to offer his support and support and summoning Australia’s ambassador to the country for a change of clothes.
But all was in vain and Djokovic was informed that his visa – when he exempted from competition despite his unvaccinated status – was cancelled.
His legal team claimed he only agreed to the cancellation because he was disoriented from lack of sleep and reeling from the “procedurally unfair” treatment by the official.
Court documents claim Australian officials made “sly and contrived” attempts to urge him to sign the revocation.
He was then detained, despite begging to be moved to more elaborate digs with tennis courts or to have his own chef provide vegan meals – request was denied.
https://www.thesun.ie/sport/8196730/journalist-interviewed-novak-djokovic-covid-vaccination/ Journalist who interviewed Novak Djokovic ‘didn’t know the tennis star had Covid and wasn’t allowed to ask about vaccinations’