Novak Djokovic was seen leaving Australia on Sunday evening after losing his legal battle over his coronavirus status and his final bid to avoid deportation ahead of the Australian Open. Earlier, a court unanimously dismissed the tennis player’s challenge to cancel his visa.
The No.1 ranked tennis player, Navok Djokovic said he was “extremely disappointed” by the ruling but respected it.
The 34-year-old was papped in a Melbourne airport lounge along with two government officials in black uniforms. Reportedly, Novak left on an Emirates flight to Dubai, the same UAE city from which he flew to Australia.
Other judges who were hearing Djokovic’s appeal were Anthony Besanko, and David O’Callaghan of the Federal Court of Australia. The tennis player was also ordered to pay the legal costs to the government.
Djokovic’s visa was cancelled on Friday by Hawke, the Australian Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services, and Multicultural Affairs.
“Today I exercised my power under section 133C(3) of the Migration Act to cancel the visa held by Novak Djokovic on health and good order grounds, on the basis that it was in the public interest to do so,” minister in an official statement said.
“This decision followed orders by the Federal Circuit and Family Court on January 10, 2022, quashing a prior cancellation decision on procedural fairness grounds. In making this decision, I carefully considered information provided to me by the Department of Home Affairs, the Australian Border Force and Djokovic.”
“The Morrison Government is firmly committed to protecting Australia’s borders, particularly in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic. I thank the officers of the Department of Home Affairs and the Australian Border Force who work every day to serve Australia’s interests in increasingly challenging operational environments,” the statement added.
Djokovic’s visa was initially cancelled upon arrival after hours of interrogation by Border Force officials. Then on Monday, judge Anthony Kelly of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia quashed the cancellation of Djokovic’s visa after tennis player spent five days detained in an immigration hotel.
Notably, world number one men’s singles tennis player Djokovic on Wednesday admitted that he conducted an in-person media interview and photoshoot in December despite knowing the fact that he was COVID-19 positive.