Tennis: Novak Djokovic admits attending event knowing he tested positive for COVID-19

Novak Djokovic has apologised for an "error of judgement" by attending an interview when he knew he had tested positive for COVID-19. 

Djokovic, 34, took to Instagram to address "hurtful" claims about his positive COVID-19 test in December and his movements before coming to Australia. 

Djokovic travelled to Australia last week after receiving a medical exemption from receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, which was based on him testing positive for the virus.

Court documents showed that Djokovic had tested positive for COVID-19 on December 16 but media reports claimed he attended multiple events following the test. 

Photos on social media showed Djokovic attending an awards ceremony at the Novak Tennis Centre in Belgrade, with pictures showing Djokovic unmasked with children. 

French newspaper L'Équipe revealed Djokovic posed without a mask during a photoshoot on December 18.

Djokovic has clarified the situation around his positive COVID test and the events around it in an Instagram post. 

"I want to address the continuing misinformation about my activities and attendance at events in December in the lead up to my positive PCR COVID test result," Djokovic wrote in a lengthy statement.

"This is misinformation which needs to be corrected, particularly in the interest of alleviating broader concern in the community about my presence in Australia, and to address matters which are very hurtful and concerning to my family.

"I attended a basketball game in Belgrade on 14 December after which it was reported that a number of people tested positive with COVID-19. 

"Despite having no COVID symptoms, I took a rapid antigen test on 16 December which was negative, and out of an abundance of caution, also took an official and approved PCR Test on that same day.

"The next day I attended a tennis event in Belgrade to present awards to children and took a rapid antigen test before going to the event, and it was negative.

"I was asymptomatic and felt good, and I had not received the notification of a positive PCR Test result until after that event.

"The next day, on 18 December, I was at my tennis centre in Belgrade to fulfil a long-standing commitment for a L'Equipe interview and photoshoot. I cancelled all other events except for the L'Equipe interview."

Djokovic admitted that conducting the L'Equipe interview and photoshoot was an "error of judgement" and said he should have rescheduled the commitment. 

"I felt obliged to go ahead and conduct the L'Equipe interview as I didn't want to let the journalist down, but did ensure I socially distanced and wore a mask except when my photograph was being taken," Djokovic said. 

"While I went home after the interview to isolate for the required period, on reflection, this was an error of judgement and I accept that I should have rescheduled the commitment." 

Reports have also emerged that Djokovic may have lied on a travel declaration form before entering the country. 

The form asks if the person has travelled, or has plans to travel, in the 14 days before they arrive in Australia.

Videos and photos on social media, allegedly show Djokovic in Belgrade, Serbia, at Christmas time, where he was filmed playing tennis in the street.

For Djokovic to meet the border entry rules, Djokovic would have to have been in Spain, where he flew out from (via Dubai) to get to Australia, for two weeks from late on December 22.

The men's world No.1 has clarified the situation saying his team submitted the form on his behalf and has clarified the situation with the Australian Government. 

"My agent sincerely apologises for the administrative mistake in ticking the incorrect box about my previous travel before coming to Australia," Djokovic said on Instagram. 

"This was a human error and certainly not deliberate. We are living in challenging times in a global pandemic and sometimes these mistakes can occur.

"Today, my team has provided additional information to the Australian Government to clarify this matter."

Shortly after Djokovic released the statement immigration minister Alex Hawke - who has the power to cancel the 34-year-old's visa - said he was still mulling over the decision after receiving further documentation from the world No.1's team.

"Mr Djokovic's lawyers have recently provided lengthy further submissions and supporting documentation said to be relevant to the possible cancellation of Mr Djokovic's visa," a spokesperson for Hawke said.

"This will affect the timeframe."