Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley insisted all the possible information and knowledge they had regarding medical exemption was supplied to the players. After Novak Djokovic's visa was cancelled, some accused Tennis Australia of misleading players about medical exemption criteria.
Djokovic was detained at the Melbourne Airport for nine hours before the Australian Border Force revoked his visa. "All the information we had at the time, all the knowledge we had at the time, was supplied to the players," Tiley told Channel Nine, as revealed on Tennis Majors.
"From the beginning we were saying the condition on which you can be assured to come into Australia is to meet the requirements of certain vaccines that were valid in Australia, to get vaccinated with those vaccines...
And there will always be a handful of people – as it would be for people normally coming to Australia, not only for tennis – that require for medical reasons exemptions."
Tiley not putting blame on anyone
The whole Djokovic situation has caused a lot of chaos ahead of the Australian Open and Tiley is now trying to calm the situation down.
"We’re not going to lay the blame on anyone. All I can say is primarily because there is much conflict in information, much contradictory information the whole time," Tiley said. "Every single week we were talking to home affairs, to all the possible governments to ensure we were doing the right thing and we were on the right process with these exemptions, but knowing also that everyone coming in had to be vaccinated.
We are at that point. "The conflicting information and the contradictory information that you receive is because of the changing environment. We are in a very challenging environment." Djokovic has appealed the decision and he has a court hearing scheduled for Monday. Djokovic is a record nine-time champion at Melbourne Park.