Probe Raises Questions About Novak Djokovic's Positive COVID Test Before Australian Open

·2 min read

Controversial Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic was feted in Montenegro on Friday after an investigation raised serious suspicions about a certificate claiming he had earlier contracted and then recovered from COVID, which he used to obtain a visa to enter Australia to compete.

Djokovic, 34, triggered an uproar when he entered the country without a COVID-19 vaccination to compete in the Australian Open in early January. He had obtained a vaccination exemption by submitting evidence of testing positive for COVID in mid-December, which presumably would have provided some immunity to him and protection to others.

He refused to be vaccinated and was eventually deported before he could compete after the Australian government revoked his visa, citing public interest grounds.

The BBC reported on Thursday that its investigation found that the serial numbers of the COVID tests Djokovic’s legal team said were administered before his Australia trip were out of order, suggesting possible irregularities. The serial numbers are supposed to be chronological, according to the BBC.

The serial number on Djokovic’s positive Dec. 16 test “appears out of sequence” with a sample of tests from Serbia over that period, the BBC reported. A negative test was marked six days later, even though that certificate had a lower sequence number, indicating the test was taken earlier, before the positive test.

The findings “raise questions” about if a later positive test result could have initially blocked him from entering Australia, the BBC noted. If the tests were chronological, Djokovic could have tested positive as late as Dec. 28, according to the BBC. He initially attempted to enter Australia on Jan. 5.

(Whenever it was, though, Djokovic has said he didn’t isolate after his positive test.)

Neither Serbian officials nor Djokovic or his team responded to the BBC report by late Friday.

He was cheered Friday by hundreds in Montenegro, which borders Serbia, as he was awarded honorary citizenship in the Adriatic town of Budva.

Check out the BBC’s story in the video up top.

This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.

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