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#pounditThursday, May 19, 2022

Novak Djokovic is majority owner of biotech company developing COVID treatment

Novak Djokovic holding a racket

Novak Djokovic has not taken a COVID-19 vaccine and apparently does not have plans to do so. He seems to be focused instead on developing a treatment for the virus.

Djokovic and his wife bought an 80 percent ownership stake in Danish biotech company QuantBioRes in June 2020. The company’s website says they began developing a “deactivation mechanism” for COVID-19 in July 2020.

The company is developing a peptide that prevents the virus from infecting human cells. They are hoping to begin trials in Britain this summer.

QuantBioRes’ founder has said that Djokovic is not “anti-vax” despite declining to receive a COVID-19 vaccination.

Increased vaccination requirements around the world are threatening Djokovic’s ability to continue his professional tennis career. Though he received a medical exemption to play in the Australian Open, Australia’s federal government twice canceled his visa. He was deported and will be unable to seek his 10th career Aussie Open title. France has also passed a mandate requiring vaccinations for athletes, and that will prevent Djokovic from competing in the French Open.

If Djokovic remains unchanged regarding his vaccination stance, he may have to bank not only on his or another company developing a treatment, but also on countries then repealing the mandates or allowing for exemptions. Both developments seem unlikely to happen any time too soon, which could prevent Djokovic from competing in many tournaments in 2022.

Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

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