Tennis Australia boss Craig Tiley blames ‘changing circumstances’, ‘miscommunication’ for Djokovic saga

Tennis Australia boss Craig Tiley says “forever changing circumstances” and “miscommunication” with the federal government were the main reasons behind the Novak Djokovic saga that plagued this year’s Australian Open.

In an exclusive conversation with ABC journalist Catherine Murphy on News Breakfast on Sunday, Tiley claimed that Tennis Australia had repeatedly sought clarification from federal authorities, but that the evolving nature of the Omicron variant meant “there was a lot of contradiction and complexity with information”.

A Nov. 29 letter from Federal Health Secretary Greg Hunt to Craig Tiley clearly stated that previous infection of COVID-19 would not be grounds for exemption from vaccination requirements for quarantine-free travel.

“It was an incredibly challenging environment,” Tiley said.

“One or two pieces of communication don’t define all the amounts of communication that went through to the event.

“We knew we were going to have a tough time and so there was a lot of contradiction and complexity with information.

“And that’s why we as an organization have continued to look for clarity so that we can get to where we are now: we are halfway through what has been an incredible seven days, not just of tennis, but of our fans who love it and players are also very comfortable and love it too.”

Djokovic was deported from Australia last weekend after a federal court upheld a government decision to revoke his visa.(Reuters: Christopher Pike)

In his first non-network interview since last week’s lawsuit that resulted in Novak Djokovic, the world’s number one, being deported from Australia on the recommendation of federal immigration minister Alex Hawke, Tiley avoided answering directly. questions about rule changes around previous infection as grounds for exemption .

Djokovic said he thought he entered Australia under the rules after being given a waiver by Tennis Australia’s Chief Medical Officer in late December.

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