Acting Victorian SP: Government wants answers from Novak Djokovic

Acting Victorian Sports Minister Jaala Pulford has made it clear the Victorian government expects from Novak Djokovic to explain why he was granted a medical exemption. 

On Tuesday, Djokovic announced he received a medical exemption for the Australian Open. 

Djokovic receiving a medical exemption caused mixed reactions as some were happy for the Serb while some were outraged as they though the world No. 1 was the subject to a special treatment. 

“It’s the government’s expectation that when he does arrive, he explains to the Victorian community what the circumstances (are of his exemption) and can then explain some of these motives behind his actions and his intentions in playing here in Australia,” Pulford said.

Djokovic set to play at the Australian Open 

“Happy New Year, everybody! Wishing you all health, love, and happiness in every present moment and may you feel love & respect towards all beings on this wonderful planet,” Djokovic said in an Instagram post.

“I’ve spent fantastic quality time with my loved ones over the break and today I’m heading Down Under with an exemption permission. Let’s go 2022!”

Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley insisted Djokovic wasn’t a subject a special treatment. 

“If they didn’t meet the guidelines, and there were many that didn’t so therefore they were rejected, but if they met the guidelines including for example – which a lot of people forget – is one of those conditions is having COVID recently, in the past six months,” Tiley said on Nine on Wednesday morning.

“Any person who met those conditions has been allowed to come in. There’s been no special favour. There’s been no special opportunity granted to Novak.”

Djokovic is a record nine–time Australian Open champion and he is now set to battle for a fourth consecutive Australian Open title.

Winning this year’s Australian Open title would push Djokovic to a record 21st Grand Slam title. 

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