FIGHTING BACK: Novak Djokovic could be out of French Open as well due to vaccination mandates.

By Faith Snell, Whistle Wire News, January 17th, 2022 8:14pm

MARTIN KEEP/AFP via Getty Images

Novak Djokovic has been deported from Australia after arriving to take part in the Austrailian Open. Djokovic, 36, was given a medical exemption from the COVID-19 vaccine to par take in the event. Upon his arrival to Australia, authorities revoked his visa.

World No. 1 Tennis player Djokovic, who took a stance for his medical freedom was deported from Australia ahead of the Australian Open after losing the court case to have the cancellation of his visa overturned.

Djokovic arrived back in his native Serbia, where fans greeted him at the Belgrade Airport. Many agree that Djokovic was treated poorly by Australian authorities and citizens. But his problems could stem further then Australia with the French Open coming up...

As things stand, Djokovic could risk being barred from the French Open. The French Sports Ministry said on Monday there will be no exemptions made from the new vaccine pass law approved on Sunday. This means people will be required to show proof of vaccination when attending public spaces such as cafes, restaurants, and cinemas.

A member of the French Parliament, Christophe Castaner, said the new law will apply to anyone who wants to play in the French Open.

"To do your job, to come for pleasure or leisure, to practice a sport, it will be necessary to present a vaccine. This will be valid for people who live in France but also for foreigners who come to our country for vacation or for a major sports competition," Sports Minister Roxana Maracineanu told BFM television on Monday.

Although, this law takes affect during the French Open some details are still being hashed out, including how the law will handle people who have recently recovered from COVID-19, as Djokovic has. The question is how recent the infection must be to qualify for an exemption to vaccination rules. France's sports ministry said Monday once the law is in place, there will be no exceptions until further notice.

"This will apply to everyone who is a spectator or a professional sportsperson. And this until further notice," the ministry said.

Alexander Zverev, world No. 3 made a welcoming statement on the ministry's new mandates,

"At least it's clear what's going to happen," he told reporters after winning his opening match at Melbourne Park on Monday. "At least they're saying, 'OK, no unvaccinated players are allowed to play in the French Open.'
"We know that now in advance, and I can imagine there's not going to be any exemptions, and that's OK."

We will know more within the coming days as the French Ministry hashes out details on handling people who’ve recovered from COVID-19.


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