Australian court orders Djokovic’s release

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MELBOURNE (Reuters) – An Australian court on Friday night ordered the pre-deportation detention of Novak Djokovic – whose visa had just been revoked by authorities again – from 8 a.m. Saturday (2100 GMT Friday), with permission for the tennis player to go to the offices of his lawyers.

The Serbian world number one player’s defense team have launched legal proceedings to try to prevent his deportation, less than three hours after Australian Immigration Minister Alex Hawke again canceled his visa , judging that the fact that he is not vaccinated against COVID-19 could pose a risk to public health and order.

Faced with the controversy sparked in Australia by the medical exemption of the 34-year-old tennis player to participate in the Australian Open, which begins on Monday, the Canberra authorities had revoked his visa for the first time last week.

This decision was then canceled on Monday by the Australian courts, which had also ordered his release from the detention center where the 34-year-old player, who was to seek a 21st Grand Slam title in Melbourne from Monday, was interned.

(Sonali Paul and Kirsty Needham report, French version Myriam Rivet, edited by Blandine Hénault)

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