Update: The Novak Djokovic saga continues. Australian officials are now investigating whether the tennis star submitted a bogus travel declaration before entering the country. Djokovic declared he hadn't traveled in the 14 days prior to arriving in Australia, but social media posts suggest he was in Spain and Serbia during that span, reports the BBC. As of now, Djokovic remains in the country and has begun practicing for the Australian Open. But the new wrinkle—the latest revolving around the player's vaccination status—raises the possibility he might be deported after all. Our story from Jan. 9 follows:
Novak Djokovic’s visa won't be canceled after all, and the tennis star will be released from detention and allowed to remain in Australia. After an hours-long hearing, a judge quashed the decision to cancel Djokovic’s visa and ordered him released with passport in hand within 30 minutes, the Guardian reports. The decision was reached at 1:16am Eastern time Monday (5:16pm local time), CNN reports. The judge reached the decision because, he ruled, Djokovic was not given enough time to speak to people and respond in full after the government notified him it planned to cancel his visa.
The judge also ordered the government to pay the athlete's costs. Shortly after the ruling, however, government counsel said the immigration minister may exercise his personal power to cancel the visa; if he does so, Djokovic would not be allowed to return for three years. That means the whole issue, which centers around Djokovic’s vaccination status, could end up back in court. If the immigration minister makes such a move, Djokovic would be allowed to appeal. (Read more Novak Djokovic stories.)