Authorities detain another first-class tennis player over visa issues ahead of the Australian Open

Authorities detain another first-class tennis player over visa issues ahead of the Australian Open

“We can confirm that Czech tennis player Renata Vorashova is being held in the same detention as Djokovic with several other tennis players in Melbourne,” the Czech Foreign Ministry said in a statement to CNN.

“Our Consulate General in Sydney is now dealing with the situation and is in contact with the tennis player.”

The Australian newspaper, The Age, reported that the former Wimbledon semi-finalist entered Australia with medical exemption on the basis that she had contracted Covid-19 in the past six months.

The 38-year-old Voráčová has already played in a warm-up session in Melbourne after losing in the first round of the women’s doubles competition at the Melbourne Summer Championships.

Without naming Voráčová, ABF told CNN on Friday that its investigation into the individual’s visa status linked to the tournament had ended.

“This individual has been transferred to an immigration detention center pending deportation from Australia,” the association said in a statement.

“All travelers entering Australia must do so in accordance with our strict laws and entry requirements, regardless of their status or reasons for entering the country,” the association added.

The Novak Djokovic saga has highlighted deep divisions in Australian society

The Czech Foreign Ministry said that according to its information, Vorasova had a confirmed non-infectious status, which she was entitled to participate in the tournament and subsequently lodged a protest with the Australian authorities asking for an explanation.

However, he confirmed that Voráčová decided to withdraw from the tournament and leave the country due to the limited training that is now possible.

“Our embassy in Australia is helping her complete the procedures for leaving the country and will keep in touch with her in case of any complications,” she added.

Neither the Australian tennis team nor Voráčová representatives were immediately available for comment when contacted by CNN.

In addition, another unidentified person has voluntarily left Australia following inquiries, ABF said.

leaked message

A message obtained by an Australian newspaper appears to show that Tennis Australia may have mistakenly notified unvaccinated players that they could enter the country for the season opener.

The Herald Sun on Friday published what appears to be a letter sent from Tennis Australia, the tournament’s organizers, to the players on December 7.

CNN cannot independently verify the authenticity of the letter.

The letter states that confirmed Covid-19 infection in the past six months along with an accompanying letter from a doctor or public health authority will be considered as valid medical exemption documentation.

Players are urged to submit their applications no later than December 10, the document said.

The guidance appears to go against advice in a widely reported letter Australia’s health minister Greg Hunt sent to tournament director Craig Tilly in November, which asserted that a Covid-19 infection in the past six months did not meet the requirements for entry without quarantine.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison read the letter to reporters on Thursday, saying it clearly stated that based on the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (ATAGI), unvaccinated people who tested positive for coronavirus in the six months prior to entering the country did not meet entry. Medical exemption requirements.

“People must be fully vaccinated as established by ATAGI to enter Australia without quarantine. This means that people who do not meet the ATAGI definition of full vaccination will not be approved for entry without quarantine, regardless of whether they have taken in foreigners,” Morrison said. Vaccine exemptions.

Tennis Australia has not commented publicly since Wednesday, when Tiley defended the medical exemption granted to Djokovic.

Amid the global controversy over the saga, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said this week that Djokovic, who has not publicly disclosed his vaccination status, “did not have a valid medical exemption” for vaccination requirements for those coming into the country.

Djokovic has been transferred to Melbourne’s Park Hotel, a detention facility for refugees and asylum seekers, after his visa was banned to enter Australia, according to Seven Network and Nine News’ CNN.

The hearing on Djokovic’s appeal to cancel his travel visa has been postponed to Monday.

CNN’s Hannah Ritchie contributed to this report.

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