TENNIS ace Andrei Rublev has revealed he has been allowed to enter Australia with Covid, despite the ugly spat with Novak Djokovic.
The 24-year-old Russian has to face Marin Cilic in the third round of the Australian Open after a victory over Ricardas Beraknis.
And ahead of that match-up, he revealed how his own battle with the coronavirus before the Grand Slam tournament left him unsure whether he would be in Melbourne.
But while he was still positive for Covid on his arrival Down Under, he was let in and is no longer being tested.
Rublev told Sport Klub: “I am not being tested personally now because I just got over the coronavirus.
“When I flew to Australia I was still positive, but the level of Covid SS, as it’s called, I won’t lie, it was very low and not dangerous.
“I was allowed to enter the country. In addition, I was quarantined for more than ten days.”
That revelation comes just days after Djokovic, 34, was expelled from the country after a humiliating vaccine row that lasted nearly two weeks — ending with a three-year ban from the country.
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The unvaccinated tennis champion claimed he had a visa waiver but was expelled from the country before the Australian Open.
Djokovic was hailed as a hero when he landed in his home country of Serbia on Monday and is now in talks with lawyers about suing the Australian government for £3.2 million for ‘ill-treatment’.
Djokovic said he was “extremely disappointed” after three judges unanimously rejected his latest emergency call to stay Down Under and chase a record 21st Grand Slam win at the Australian Open.
The government had canceled its visa for a second time, saying it considered the star’s presence in the country a risk to the health and ‘good order’ of the Australian people, while negating their vaccination efforts.
They were also concerned that the star’s decision to defy Covid rules in Serbia by attending an interview knowing he was infected “may encourage an attitude of violating public health regulations”.
A journalist who interviewed Djokovic for French outlet L’Equipe on December 18 said he had not been told the star had coronavirus.
His positive test was given as the reason for an exception to the vaccine rules when he was granted a visa to play at the Australia Open.
But it turned out he greeted fans at three events while he was infected in December, potentially leading him to jail for breaking the law in Serbia.
There were also questions about his return to Spain, where he was training before flying to Oz.
His visa application erroneously stated that he had not visited any other countries – a mistake he attributed to a manager for ‘ticking the wrong box’.
His family claimed he was being held in conditions such as a prison with not enough food.
Djokovic may also be banned from the French Open in May and the US Open in August for not having the vaccine.
It is believed he can still compete in Wimbledon, where he will try to surpass Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal’s tally of 20 Grand Slams each.
Now it has also emerged that the tennis legend has a majority stake in a pharmaceutical company that aims to develop a non-vaccination treatment for Covid.
Novak, 34, and his wife Jelena, 35, jointly bought 80 percent of Danish biotech company QuantBioRes in June 2020.
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