Novak Djokovic agreed to play Australian Open in ‘equal and fair’ process, says tournament boss Craig Tiley

Australian Open boss Craig Tiley said the blind application process for vaccination exemptions meant defending champion Novak Djokovic had not received special treatment.

The Serbian world number one announced on social media Tuesday evening that he had received an “exemption permit” to travel to Australia, after having followed strict guidelines set by the federal government’s ATAGI advisory group. Group on Immunization).

Of the 26 anonymous exemption requests made by players or their support staff, only a “handful” have been granted.

“We are doing everything we can to give everyone an equal and fair chance to enter the country,” Tiley said.

“We have been saying from the start that anyone entering Australia or entering the ground within Melbourne should be vaccinated or should have a medical exemption approved by a doctor or panel.

“In Australia, we have set up a first panel… made up of independent doctors, epidemiologists, and designed to assess any request for exemption from vaccination. They were blind candidates, in other words, no one knew who the candidate was.

“[The applications were] reviewed and assessed, then passed to the second group, which was set up by the government for further assessment. “

Tiley said there were several criteria applicants could meet to qualify for an exemption, including “having an adverse response to any type of vaccine.”

“Another is whether you’ve just had major surgery and whether or not you have myocarditis,” he said.

“And another is that you are a recovered case and have evidence of having COVID within the past six months.

“If you meet any of these criteria, it is assessed by the medical team and must provide information that is assessed by both panels. If granted, you will be granted an exemption.”

Tiley said officials “fully understand” the public reaction to the decision, given “Djokovic’s” statements over the past two years regarding vaccination. “

“However, it is ultimately up to him to discuss with the public his condition, if you choose to do so, and the reason he received an exemption,” he said.

Djokovic is currently on a flight to Australia and is expected to arrive on Wednesday evening, after training in Marbella, Spain for the past few days.

The 34-year-old has won the last three Australian Open and is tied at three in 20 majors with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal on the all-time roster.

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