Novak Djokovic “probably did not know” about his own positive Covid-19 test result when he mingled with the public in Serbia without a mask, his mother said on Wednesday in a television interview.
The unvaccinated tennis superstar was spotted in Belgrade after claiming he tested positive for Covid-19 on December 16 – the basis for the vaccine exemption he used to enter Australia.
On December 17, the day after the positive PCR test result, he participated in the launch of a Serbian stamp with his picture and he also appeared disguised next to young tennis players in Belgrade.
“He probably did not know,” his mother Dijana told Australia’s TV Channel 7.
“He did not know because when he realized he was positive then he went to isolation because he did not know,” she said, saying it would be better to ask Djokovic himself.
Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic said it would be a “clear violation” of the country’s Covid-19 rules if the number one tennis world was public, while he knew he had tested positive.
“If you are positive, you have to be isolated,” Brnabic said in an interview with the BBC.
It was unclear when the player knew of his results, she said.
“I do not know when he actually got the results, when he saw the results, so there is a gray area,” she told the broadcaster.
“The only answer to this can be given by Novak.”
Questions have also been raised in Australia about a single answer given to the 34-year-old’s travel declaration, which must be submitted before the trip begins.
His travel document, which has been released by the federal district court, has a tick on the box to show that he had not and did not plan to travel during the 14 days before the flight.
The document states that “giving false or misleading information is a serious crime” and could lead to a ban from Australia for three years.
In an airport interview on his arrival in Melbourne, Djokovic told border agents that his travel documents were filled out by his agent, according to a transcript released by the court.
There seems to be clear evidence that Djokovic traveled during the 14-day period.
He was pictured in Belgrade on December 25, along with Serbian handball player Petar Djordjic. The photo appeared on Djordjic’s Instagram page.
On December 31, the SotoTennis Academy tweeted a video where Djokovic trained in Marbella, Spain.
“We can confirm that Novak Djokovic is ready for the Australian Open if possible,” the academy tweeted – as Djokovic had not yet committed to compete in Australia.
On January 2, Djokovic was pictured by the local newspaper Diario Sur while playing at the Puente Romano club in the Sierra Blanca, Marbella, where he lived in a villa.
Djokovic arrived in Melbourne on January 5, only to have his visa annulled, which ushered in the legal battle that ended when a judge overturned that decision on Monday.
A spokesman for Australian Immigration Minister Alex Hawke said on Tuesday that he was “considering whether to revoke Djokovic’s visa” by using his ministerial powers.
But he does not want to comment further for legal reasons.