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Murray urges Djokovic to open up on whereabouts

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Former world No.1 Andy Murray wants Novak Djokovic to come clean over his whereabouts in the days after he tested positive to COVID-19 last month.

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Djokovic was yesterday named top seed for next week’s Australian Open, capping off a manic few days for the nine-time champion since arriving in Australia.

After being placed in a Melbourne detention hotel last week, Djokovic was freed on Monday after his legal team had the Federal Circuit Court overturn the decision to cancel his visa.

Djokovic received an exemption to bypass hotel quarantine to defend his Australian Open crown on the basis he had tested positive to COVID-19 on December 16.

But photos have since emerged of the Serb, who admitted to immigration authorities that he wasn’t vaccinated, attending various functions after he claimed to have tested positive for the coronavirus.

Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic said on Tuesday Djokovic would have “clearly violated the rules” had he known of the test result before he participated  but added: “I don’t know when he received the test result, when he read it.”

Brnabic, who has spoken to Australian counterpart Scott Morrison, said her government was ready to provide guarantees Djokovic would respect regulations in Australia.

Concerns have been raised that the world No.1 may have misled Australian Border Force officials by not declaring he was in both Serbia and Spain in the 14 days before his arrival in Australia.

Murray, who has lost to the 34-year-old in four Australian Open finals, says it’s crucial that Djokovic opens up about his movements in the days following his positive diagnosis.

“It’s a positive that he’s not in detention anymore. He won in court so that’s a positive thing for him,” Murray said on Tuesday night.

“There are still a few questions that need to be answered about the isolation and stuff, which I’m sure we’ll hear from him in the next few days.

“I’m hoping we can move on from it now. It looks like he’s going to be able to play and compete in the Australian Open.”

Nationals Senator Matt Canavan also said the country needs to move on from the Djokovic visa saga as the Australian Open approaches.

“(Djokovic) got COVID, he has natural immunity and is a low health risk but the decision was made and the court overturned it,” he told the Nine Network this morning.

“I think we have to move on now and de-escalate it as much as possible.

“He may have lied or made a mistake on the form. I am sure he is not the first person to tick the wrong box.

“I don’t want to live in a world of strict bureaucracy when if we make a mistake on a form we are hauled off to jail. If there’s been an error or a lie, he needs to be questioned again and see how or why that happened.”

Immigration Minister Alex Hawke is still weighing up whether to use his discretionary powers to cancel Djokovic’s visa.

Hawke is yet to make a decision on whether Djokovic should be deported after Monday’s decision by a federal court to overturn his visa cancellation.

Should such a discretionary decision be made, Djokovic could be banned from entering the country for three years.

 – AAP

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