Serbian prosecutors deny claims Novak Djokovic used fake positive Covid tests

Novak Djokovic was deported from Australia on the eve of the Australian Open getting underway (Picture: Getty)

Serbian prosecutors have rejected claims Novak Djokovic used faked positive Covid tests to try and enter Australia and compete in the Australian Open.

Having tested positive for coronavirus in December, the unvaccinated world No.1 applied for medical exemption and was successfully granted one although he was later deported from the country over Covid vaccination rules, not on the grounds that the documents were allegedly falsified.

But the Serbian prosecution office, upon receiving a request for criminal proceedings against unnamed individuals who allegedly forged two PCR certificates, have dismissed the claims.

‘The prosecution acted according to the regulations, checks were performed, and it was determined that Novak Djokovic was tested several times and that the certificates on the test results from 16 December 2021 and 22 December 2021 are valid,’ the statement said.

The BBC had reported discrepancies in the serial numbers of the tests Serbian authorities administered to Djokovic, suggesting the serial numbers were out of sequence with others from the same time period.

Despite Djokovic’s reason for applying for a medical exemption to play Down Under on the basis of having recently tested positive, the 34-year-old came under fire after admitting to flouting Serbian isolation rules once he returned a positive result.

Novak Djokovic was denied the chance to win a 21st Grand Slam (Picture: Reuters)

The nine-time Australian Open champion took to Instagram to explain his rule break after testing positive on December 16 in his homeland only to be seen maskless at an event days later.

‘I want to emphasise that I have tried very hard to ensure the safety of everyone and my compliance with testing obligations,’ Djokovic wrote on Instagram.

‘I attended a basketball game in Belgrade on December 14 after which it was reported that a number of people tested positive with Covid-19.

‘Despite having no Covid symptoms, I took a rapid antigen test on December 16 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.

Novak Djokovic had to spend time in a detention hotel before flying home (Picture: Reuters)

‘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 18 December 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 ultimately missed out on the chance to defend his title in the first Grand Slam of the year with Rafael Nadal winning a record 21st major.

His vaccination status could see him miss further Grand Slams and tournaments this year but his biographer Daniel Muksch has recently claimed he’s now set to get the jab to avoid that happening.

He appeared on Austrian TV channel ServusTV and said: ‘What you hear from his environment, I think he’s getting vaccinated.

‘Maybe the final in Melbourne also contributed to that. Rafael Nadal’s 21 is driving him, no question.’

MORE : Australian Open fans ‘gloating over what they did to Novak Djokovic’ – John McEnroe

MORE : Rafael Nadal speaks out on Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic rivalry after Australian Open win

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