Authorities arrest another top tennis player over visa issues ahead of Australian Open

“We can confirm that Czech tennis player Renata Voráčová is in the same detention as Djokovic, along 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.”

Australian newspaper The Age reports that the former Wimbledon doubles semi-finalist entered Australia with a medical exemption on the grounds that she had been infected with Covid-19 in the past six months.

Voráčová, 38, previously played in a warm-up tournament in Melbourne after losing in the first round of the women’s doubles competition at the Melbourne Summer Set tournament.

READ: Djokovic “treated like a prisoner” by Australian authorities, according to his mother

Without naming Voráčová, ABF told CNN on Friday that its investigation into the visa status of the person linked to the tournament was over.

“This person has been taken into migrant detention pending deportation from Australia,” ABF 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 the reason for entering the country,” added ABF.

The Novak Djokovic saga shines the spotlight on the deep divisions of Australian society

The Czech Foreign Ministry said it was reported that Voráčová has a proven non-contagious status which allows him to participate in the tournament and has subsequently lodged a protest with Australian authorities asking for an explanation.

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

“Our embassy in Australia assists her in completing the formalities for leaving the country and will remain in contact with her in the event of complications,” he added.

Neither Tennis Australia nor representatives for Voráčová were immediately available for comment when contacted by CNN.

In addition, another unknown person has voluntarily left Australia following investigations, ABF said.

Disclosed letter

A letter obtained by an Australian newspaper appears to show that Tennis Australia may have falsely informed unvaccinated players that they could enter the country to participate in the season opener grand slam.

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

CNN cannot independently verify the authenticity of the letter.

The letter states that a confirmed Covid-19 infection within the past six months as well as a covering letter from a doctor or public health authority would be considered valid documents for a medical exemption.

Players have been invited to submit their nominations no later than December 10, the document said.

The advice appears to contradict advice in a widely reported letter sent by Australian Health Minister Greg Hunt to tournament director Craig Tiley in November, which pointed out that a Covid-19 infection in the past six months was unresponsive entry requirements without quarantine.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison read the letter to reporters on Thursday, saying it made it clear, based on the Australian Immunization Technical Advisory Group (ATAGI), that unvaccinated people who have tested positive for coronavirus at during the six months preceding their entry into the country did not meet the entry conditions for medical exemption.

“People must be fully vaccinated as defined by ATAGI to enter Australia without quarantine. This means that people who do not meet the ATAGI definition of fully vaccinated will not be allowed to enter without quarantine, whether they are Whether or not foreigners received vaccine exemptions, ”Morrison said.

Tennis Australia has not commented publicly since Wednesday, when Tiley defended Djokovic’s medical exemption.

Amid the global controversy over the saga, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said this week that Djokovic, who has not publicly disclosed his vaccine status, “does not have a valid medical exemption” from the requirement to vaccination for arrivals in the country.

Djokovic was transferred to the Park Hotel in Melbourne, a detention center for refugees and asylum seekers, after his visa was blocked to enter Australia, according to CNN affiliates Seven Network and Nine News.

The hearing on Djokovic’s appeal against the cancellation of his travel visa has been adjourned until Monday.

CNN’s Hannah Ritchie contributed to this report.


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