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Australia cancels ANOTHER tennis player's visa amid Djokovic debacle

Australia cancels ANOTHER tennis player’s visa after detaining Novak Djokovic at the border – and move her to the same hotel as the Serbian superstar

  • Czech Republic player Renata Voráčová detained in Melbourne by ABF officials 
  • The 38-year-old already played in a warm-up competition in Victorian capital 
  • She and Djokovic believed to have gained same exemption from Tennis Australia

Another tennis player has had her visa cancelled by Australia after Novak Djokovic was refused entry into the country and moved to an immigration hotel.

Czech Republic player Renata Voráčová, 38, was detained in Melbourne by Australian Border Force officials on Thursday and taken to the city’s Park Hotel, ABC News reported.

The women’s world No.80 had already played in a warm-up competition in the city. 

The hotel is the same one where Djokovic is being held after his own visa was cancelled due to a lack of evidence supporting his vaccination exemption.

She and Djokovic are believed to have been granted the same exemption by Tennis  Australia – that they both had been recently infected with Covid-19.

Czech Republic player Renata Voráčová was detained in Melbourne by Australian Border Force officials on Thursday

A source said the 38-year-old was in contact with officials from the Czech Republic. 

Her detention comes after it emerged a leaked document from Tennis Australia wrongly informed unvaccinated players they could enter the country for the Australian Open if they had caught Covid-19 within the last six months.

A letter was sent by Tennis Australia on December 7 to the Association of Tennis Professionals and then passed onto players, the Herald Sun reported.

The document said unvaccinated players needed to prove they had contracted the virus within the past six months in order to enter.

Djokovic’s team are believed to have applied for his visa relying on a recent Covid infection.

It’s believed Djokovic (pictured with wife Jelena) had applied for a visa to enter the country under the exemption he had contracted Covid within the past six months

However, Tennis Australia had already been notified by the Federal Government in November that prior infections would not allow the unvaccinated into the country. 

The document sent by TA outlined the two-step process players who haven’t been jabbed needed in order to play.

Those players needed an overseas medical exemption certificate and a second exemption either signed off by an Australian medical practitioner or a panel of expert medical personnel.

A leaked document has shown Tennis Australia wrongly informed unvaccinated players they could enter the country for the Australian Open if they had caught Covid-19 within the last six months. It is believed Novak Djokovic’s visa relied on a recent Covid infection

A section of the letter included reasons for a temporary medical exemption.

‘Recent PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection (after 31 July 2021), where vaccination can be deferred until six months after the infection,’ it said.  

‘If you fall into this category, please provide laboratory PCR result from the first positive test, antibody levels if available and evidence of any previous or subsequent vaccinations if relevant,.

Pictured is the letter sent by Tennis Australia to the Association of Tennis Professionals and then passed onto players

The letter said players could be given temporary medical exemption if they had contracted Covid-19 in last six months

‘The current ATAGI guidance for those who have had a recent COVID infection is to be vaccinated once you have recovered from the acute illness.

‘It may also assist the independent panel if you can provide a letter from your doctor or public health authority as to why you have not received a full dose of an approved vaccination following COVID-19 infection.’ 

But a letter sent by Greg Hunt to Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley at the end of November shows the health minister had warned Australian Open officials that a recent infection would not grant players an exemption.

‘The Australian Border Force has advised that people must be fully vaccinated, as defined by ATAGI (the national advisory body on vaccines) to gain quarantine-free entry into Australia,’ Mr Hunt wrote.

‘In relation to your specific questions, I can confirm that people who contracted Covid-19 within the past six months and seek to enter Australia from overseas, and have not received two doses of a Therapeutic Goods Administration-approved or recognised vaccine are not considered fully vaccinated.’ 

A letter sent by Greg Hunt to Craig Tiley at the end of November shows the health minister warning Australian Open officials that a recent infection would not grant players an exemption

Mr Hunt specifically reiterated to Mr Tiley that ‘major sporting events’ were at the mercy of ‘relevant jurisdiction’

Mr Tiley had previously written to Mr Hunt and the health department for clarity on unvaccinated entrants, with the Tennis Australia boss receiving two separate and crucial replies. 

The letters, obtained by NCA Newswire, prove the federal government had given Australia’s tennis officials significant time to inform Djokovic and other tennis players hoping to enter unvaccinated. 

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