by Silke Koltrowitz
ZURICH (Reuters) – Watchmaker Hublot, sponsor of Novak Djokovic, told Reuters getting vaccinated was a personal choice, its first comment since the tennis world number one was expelled from Australia.
The Serbian player, who hoped to participate in the 2022 Australian Open, had his visa revoked by the authorities on the grounds that his presence posed a risk to the public order of the country while he is not vaccinated against the virus. COVID-19.
Hublot chief executive Ricardo Guadalupe said the brand, owned by luxury conglomerate LVMH, was waiting for Djokovic to share his experience.
“We are waiting for what his position will be in relation to everything he has been through, everything he has gone through,” Ricardo Guadalupe said in an interview with Reuters.
“The principle of the vaccine is something private. We are for individual freedom, everyone can decide, we can be for or against, that is our position”, he added.
Djokovic could make a statement at the end of the Australian tournament, which ends on January 30, said the managing director of Hublot.
“(…) we will position ourselves at that time”, he concluded.
Last August, Novak Djokovic became brand ambassador alongside sportsmen such as Pelé, Kylian Mbappé and Usain Bolt. According to Forbes, the player earned $30 million last year from his endorsement deals.
Another major sponsor of Djokovic, the Lacoste group, said last week that it would contact him to “give an update on the events that have taken place in Australia”.
Among Djokovic’s other sponsors is carmaker Peugeot, which declined to comment on the incident.
(Report Silke Koltrowitz, French version Anait Miridzhanian, edited by Blandine Hénault)
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