Tennis star Novak Djokovic has admitted attending an interview and photoshoot with L’Equipe magazine the day after testing positive for COVID.
In a statement published to his Instagram account the World Number One said he socially distanced during the interview and wore a mask except when his photograph was being taken.
He said it was an “error of judgement” and noted that he should have cancelled the interview.
Djokovic insisted he had yet to receive his positive test result when he attended an event in Belgrade the previous day where he presented awards to children.
The Serbian star insisted he has “tried very hard to ensure the safety of everyone and my compliance with testing obligations”.
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“I attended a basketball game in Belgrade on December 14th after which it was reported that a number of people tested positive with COVID-19,” he said.
“Despite having no COVID symptoms, I took a rapid antigen test on December 16th which was negative and out of an abundance of caution, also took an official and approved PCR test on that same day.
“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 18th I was at my tennis centre in Belgrade to fulfil a long-standing commitment for a L’Equipe interview and photoshoot. I cancelled all other events except for the L’Equipe interview.
“I felt obliged to go ahead and conduct the L’Equipe interview as I didn’t want to let the journalist down but did ensure I socially distanced and wore a mask except when my 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.”
Djokovic’s affidavit submitted to Australia’s Federal Circuit Court stated that he was both “tested and diagnosed” on December 16th.
The 34-year-old also blamed his agent for an “administrative mistake” on his Australian visa application which stated that he had not travelled in the two weeks before his flight to Melbourne.
His visa was originally cancelled at Melbourne Airport; however, the court later overturned that decision.
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. 👇 pic.twitter.com/iJVbMfQ037
— Novak Djokovic (@DjokerNole) January 10, 2022
“This was a human error and certainly not deliberate,” he said. “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.”
The Australian Immigration Minister Alex Hawke is currently considering re-cancelling Djokovic’s visa after receiving further submissions and documentation from the tennis star’s lawyers.
Djokovic said he had released the statement to “address and clarify misinformation” about his actions in the lead-up to his positive test result.
He said he will be making no further comment while authorities consider their next move.
The Australian Open is due to get underway on January 17th.