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Novak Djokovic's visa cancelled by Immigration Minister

Novak Djokovic's visa cancelled by Immigration Minister
© Reuters
Novak Djokovic's visa to compete in the Australian Open has been cancelled by Immigration Minister Alex Hawke.

Novak Djokovic's visa to compete in the Australian Open has been cancelled for a second time.

The 20-time Grand Slam winner initially travelled to compete in January's tournament with a medical exemption from having a COVID-19 vaccine, sparking widespread controversy.

However, Djokovic's visa was cancelled upon arrival in Australia before being reinstated on appeal, allowing him to leave immigration detention after claiming that a positive test on December 16 granted him the exemption.

The news of Djokovic's positive test preceded revelations that the unvaccinated 34-year-old carried out public engagements after contracting the virus, which he admitted to as an "error of judgement".

Immigration Minister Alex Hawke still possessed the personal power to cancel Djokovic's visa again, and the Serbian is now facing deportation after Hawke exercised his right to do so.

A statement read: "Today I exercised my power under section 133C(3) of the Migration Act to cancel the visa held by Mr Novak Djokovic on health and good order grounds, on the basis that it was in the public interest to do so.

"This decision followed orders by the Federal Circuit and Family Court on 10 January 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 Mr 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."

Djokovic's legal team are reportedly set to appeal the decision again, with the player now set for imminent re-deportation and a three-year ban from entering Australia.

The reigning Australian Open champion currently sits on a joint-record 20 Grand Slam titles, level with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

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Novak Djokovic celebrates at the US Open on September 11, 2021
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