Australian Open: News anchors caught privately attacking Novak Djokovic
One of Australia's leading television news channel is investigating a leaked video of two news anchors privately attacking tennis star Novak Djokovic. News anchors Mike Amor and Rebecca Maddern of Seven News Melbourne were heard badmouthing the world number one tennis star off-air. They also accused him of lying about his COVID-19 status and visa application. Here are the details.
Maddern refers to Djokovic as sneaky and lying
The words regarding Djokovic by the Melbourne-based news anchors took place while they were off-air before an evening bulletin on Tuesday. Maddern could be heard describing Djokovic as sneaky and lying. "Novak Djokovic is a lying, sneaky, a**hole," Maddern said to her co-host. "Whatever way you look at it, it's unfortunate that everybody else stuffed up around him."
Why does it matter?
- Djokovic, who leads the ATP Rankings, had repeatedly declined to disclose his COVID-19 vaccination status.
- The Victoria government had mandated that only fully vaccinated players can participate at Melbourne Park.
- Despite medical exemption, the saga continued with a lot of drama unfolding as Djokovic's participation is still not guaranteed.
- To add, this leaked video of TV news anchors add more noise rather than substance.
Amor too responds, accuses Djokovic of lying
Meanwhile, Amor, who was adjusting a lapel microphone, also accused Djokovic of lying. "That's it," Amor responded. "You've got a bullsh** f**king excuse and then he fell over his own f**king lies. That's just what happens right?
Investigation underway regarding the leak
According to Skynews.com.au, Seven's Director of News and Public Affairs, Craig McPherson, said an investigation is underway to find out who leaked the illegal recording. "The illegal recording was of a private conversation between two colleagues," he said. "It was an underhanded, cowardly act in breach of the Victorian Listening Devices legislation the perpetrator of which will be accordingly dealt with when found."
Here's what the two news anchors discussed
Cameras were rolling … when Aussie mainstream media anchor Rebecca Madden and co-host get caught talking about how they really feel about the Novak Djokovic situation. 🥴 pic.twitter.com/EpB1LXeeud— daisymay4263 🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸 (@daisymay4263) January 11, 2022
Djokovic confirmed his participation after a medical exemption
Recently, Djokovic confirmed his participation at the Australian Open after receiving a medical exemption from having a COVID-19 vaccination. "I've spent fantastic quality time with my loved ones over the break and today I'm heading down under with an exemption permission," he said last week. "Let's go 2022. I am ready to live and breathe tennis in the next few weeks of competition."
Australia canceled Djokovic's visa
Djokovic's visa to enter Australia was canceled after he failed to meet the requirements for an exemption to COVID-19 vaccination rules. Djokovic had received the medical exemption from the Victoria state government, which was supposed to guard him against the vaccination guidelines in place for the Australian Open. The border officials said he had "failed to provide appropriate evidence".
Djokovic didn't have a valid medical exemption: Scott Morrison
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison supported the decision to bar Djokovic. He said the world number one did not have a "valid exemption". "The rule is very clear. You need to have a medical exemption. He didn't have a valid medical exemption. We make the call at the border, and that's where it's enforced," Morrison said in a news conference on Thursday.
Djokovic's visa cancelation overturned by Federal Circuit Court
The Federal Circuit and Family Court quashed a decision to cancel Djokovic's visa. This saw Djokovic be free to leave immigration detention and play in the Australian Open. Earlier on Monday, Judge Anthony Kelly confirmed Djokovic had won the court case as he read out a minute agreed to by both legal teams. He also ordered the government to pay for Djokovic's legal costs.
Djokovic admits breaking isolation while being COVID-19 positive
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Australian immigration officials are now looking into a series of errors and discrepancies relating to Djokovic's COVID-19 test and travel. This has developed after the Serbian tennis star apologized after has admitting there were mistakes on his immigration forms. He also met a journalist despite testing positive for the coronavirus.
Djokovic is vying to win 10th AO title
Djokovic has won the Australian Open most times (9) in men's singles. He has three more titles than Roy Emerson and Roger Federer (6 each). The Serbian has a win-loss tally of 82-8 at this Slam. He owns a win percentage of 91. He has a perfect record in the finals of the Australian Open (9-0).
Further action hasn't been ruled out
According to BBC, the Australian government has not ruled out further action. A possibility remains that the country's immigration minister, Alex Hawke, could cancel Djokovic's visa for a second time. The visa could be canceled based on prior COVID-19 infections not counting as an exemption.