According to his lawyers, Australian border officers detained tennis superstar Novak Djokovic at Melbourne airport for eight hours, mainly incommunicado, prior to suspending his visa and transferring him to a detention facility.
After being refused admission into Australia, Novak Djokovic is reportedly being placed under quarantine.
Tennis Australia and the Australian government issued Djokovic a COVID-19 vaccination exemption since he proved positive for the virus in December, which ought to have cleared him for admission, according to his lawyers.
His legal team wrote in a 32-page petition filed ahead of a federal court hearing on the immigration decision on Monday by saying
Djokovic, who landed in Melbourne late Wednesday night after a 25-hour flight through Dubai, requested time to relax and discuss with his attorneys the next morning, according to his lawyers.
However, although an immigration officer first consented, his superiors were effective in persuading Djokovic to enable them to make a judgement on his visa right away, according to the lawyers.
Foreigners are also mostly barred from visiting Australia, and those who do are required to be fully vaccinated or have a medical exemption.
They noted that the tennis player has been confined in a Melbourne detention center since Thursday morning despite his pleas to be relocated to another location to practice for the Australian Open.
Despite being given a legal exemption from deportation, it is unknown if Djokovic will participate in the event which is set to hold from January 17 to 30.
If he prevails, he would become the 10th Australian Open champion and the 21st Grand Slam champion, an accomplishment that Spanish superstar Rafael Nadal is also striving for.