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#pounditFriday, June 2, 2023

Report: US government has made decision on Novak Djokovic waiver

Novak Djokovic before a tournament

Sep 12, 2021; Flushing, NY, USA; Novak Djokovic of Serbia is introduced before playing Daniil Medvedev of Russia in the men’s singles final on day fourteen of the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

The United States government reportedly has made a decision on the waiver request from Novak Djokovic.

Djokovic is still prevented from entering the U.S. due to the country’s rules about travelers who are not vaccinated against COVID-19. The world No. 1 tennis player requested a waiver that would allow him to enter the country in time to compete in the Indian Wells Masters and the Miami Open, an important two-tournament stretch known as the “Sunshine Double.”

According to Sen. Rick Scott (R-FLA), the U.S. Department of Homeland Security denied Djokovic’s waiver request.

Scott and fellow Florida senator Marco Rubio had written a letter to Joe Biden requesting that the president ensure Djokovic could compete in the Miami Open, which begins on March 19.

In their letter, the senators noted that Biden had previously declared that the pandemic was “over” and that Dr. Anthony Fauci acknowledged the limitations of vaccinations. They said in their letter that the vaccine mandate was “outdated.”

The White House plans to end the COVID public health emergency on May 11 and will review all policies, including the vaccine requirement for air travel into the U.S.

Djokovic, who meticulously follows a strict health and dietary regiment, has insisted for a few years that he would not get a COVID vaccine. The 22-time major champion has said that he would accept any consequences for his health decision. It’s hard to fathom that he is still facing consequences for this decision so much longer after the policies were first created, and so much longer after so many other countries ended the policies.

Both the Miami Open and Indian Wells are Masters 1000 events, which make them among the most prestigious tournaments on the tennis calendar, and just one level below the grand slam events.

The tennis tournaments have campaigned for Djokovic to be cleared to play.

Tennis legend Billie Jean King also said she hoped Djokovic would be cleared.

Keep in mind, Djokovic was able to compete in the US Open in New York in 2020 and 2021 despite not being vaccinated against COVID-19, but not in 2022.


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