Judge reveals exact reason Novak Djokovic was booted out of Australia after fears he could incite anti-vax protests

A JUDGE has revealed Novak Djokovic was booted out of Australia because it was feared he could incite anti-vax protests.

The tennis world number one was deported on Sunday following a humiliating vaccine row that rumbled on for almost two weeks – ending with him being barred from the country for three years.

Djokovic received a hero's welcome when he landed in Serbia on Monday, and yesterday was pictured for the first time at an Epiphany church service in Belgrade.

It emerged last night he has a majority stake in a drug company aiming to develop a non-vaccine treatment for Covid.

Novak, 34, and his wife Jelena, 35, together bought 80 per cent of Danish biotech firm QuantBioRes in June 2020.

The company's boss last night insisted the tennis ace was "not anti-vax".

Djokovic said he was "extremely disappointed" after three judges unanimously dismissed his last-ditch appeal to stay Down Under and chase a record 21st Grand Slam win at the Australian Open.

The government had cancelled his visa of the second time, saying they deemed the star's presence in the country as a risk to the health and "good order" of the Australian people while scuppering their vaccination efforts.

Minister said the global icon – who has not had the lifesaving Covid jab – could influence youngsters to reject the vaccine.

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Now Federal Court Chief Justice James Allsop has revealed exactly why judges backed Immigration Minister Alex Hawke's decision to revoke Djokovic's visa.

A ruling released today says: “An iconic world tennis star may influence people of all ages, young or old, but perhaps especially the young and the impressionable, to emulate him.

“This is not fanciful; it does not need evidence. It is the recognition of human behaviour from a modest familiarity with human experience.

“Even if Mr Djokovic did not win the Australian Open, the capacity of his presence in Australia playing tennis to encourage those who would emulate or wish to be like him is a rational foundation for the view that he might foster anti-vaccination sentiment.”

The judges also pointed to reports that Djokovic is an anti-vaxxer after he was quoted in April 2020 saying he was "opposed to vaccination".


“We reject the proposition that it was not open to the Minister to find or conclude that Mr Djokovic had a stance that was well-known on vaccination and that he was opposed to it,” the document adds.

“Mr Djokovic as a hero and an icon of freedom of choice in relation to being vaccinated.

“It was not irrational for the Minister to be concerned that the asserted support of some anti-vaccination groups for Mr Djokovic’s apparent position on vaccination may encourage rallies and protests that may lead to heightened community transmission.”

The judges also stated they were concerned Djokovic's decision to defy Covid rules in Serbia by attending an interview while knowing he was infected "may encourage an attitude of breach of public health regulations".

A journalist who interviewed Djokovic for French outlet L'Equipe on December 18 said he was not told the star had coronovirus.

His positive test was given as a reason for an exemption to vaccine rules when he was granted a visa to play at the Australia Open.

But it emerged he greeted fans at three events while infected in December – potentially leaving him liable to a jail sentence for breaking the law in Serbia.

There were also questions about he got back into Spain where he was training before flying to Oz.

His visa application falsely stated he had not visited any other countries – an error he blamed on a manager for "ticking the wrong box".

Last night The Sun reported Djokovic is in talks to sue the Australian government for £3.2million for "ill treatment".

His family claimed he was detained in conditions like a prison with not enough food.

Djoko may also be barred from the French Open in May and the US Open in August because he has not had the vaccine.

It is thought he could still be allowed to compete at Wimbledon – where he will try to top Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal's tally of 20 Grand Slams each.

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