Novak Djokovic has admitted to making an “error of judgement” by attending an interview and photoshoot with a French newspaper after testing positive for Covid-19 last month.
The Serbian world No 1 also attributed the mistake on his Australian travel declaration form to “human error” from a member of his support team.
Djokovic posted a lengthy statement on his Instagram account on Wednesday, which read: “I want to address the continuing misinformation about my activities and attendance at events in December in the lead up to my positive PCR COVID test result.
“This is misinformation, which needs to be corrected particularly in the interest of alleviating broader concern in the community about my presence in Australia, and to address matters which are very hurtful and concerning to my family.
STATEMENT BY NOVAK DJOKOVIC
12 January 2022https://t.co/qhreHUYlQ8
— Novak Djokovic (@DjokerNole) January 12, 2022
“I want to emphasise that I have tried very hard to ensure the safety of everyone and my compliance with testing obligations.
“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 the 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.
“I was asymptomatic and felt good, and I had not received the notification for a positive PCR test result until after that event.
“The next day, on December 18 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’s statement also addressed the issue pertaining to his travel declaration, published by the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia earlier this week.
On the form, Djokovic said he had not travelled in the 14 days before his flight to Australia. But reports claimed the 34-year-old had also been in Spain during that two-week period.
“On the issue of my travel declaration, this was submitted by my support team on my behalf – as I told immigration officials on my arrival – and my agent sincerely apologises for the administrative mistake in ticking the incorrect box about my previous travel before coming to Australia,” Djokovic continued.
“This was a human error and certainly not deliberate. We are living in challenging times in a global pandemic and sometimes these mistakes can occur.
“Today, my team has provided additional information to the Australian Government to clarify this matter.”