In a statement published to social media, he also apologized for an apparently false travel declaration, saying it had been submitted on his behalf by a member of his support staff in “human error.”
Djokovic added that he had made an “error of judgment” in doing a media interview and photo shoot with a French sports newspaper after he had tested positive.
The journalist and photographer working for L’Equipe were not told Djokovic was Covid-positive before, during or after the interview with the tennis star in Belgrade, the French sports newspaper reported Wednesday.
Meanwhile Australian Border Force (ABF) officials are investigating possible inconsistencies in documents related to Djokovic’s December PCR result as well as the tennis player’s movements in the days after he tested positive for Covid-19 in Serbia, a source with knowledge of the investigation told CNN Wednesday.
The Australian Border Force (ABF) has not yet determined whether these issues may impact the validity of Djokovic’s current Australian visa, the source said.
On Tuesday, German news outlet Der Spiegel reported possible discrepancies in the digital data attached to Djokovic’s PCR tests. The PCR test documents were filed in court by Djokovic’s lawyers and published online.
Positive and negative results for the same PCR test appeared when Der Spiegel retroactively accessed the results using an attached QR code, the outlet reported.
A CNN contributor and various internet users also reported seeing the same issue. There was no indication what might have caused a discrepancy.
Tests done by CNN Wednesday showed only a positive result, consistent with the documents filed to court.
‘I want to address the continuing misinformation’
Djokovic has been embroiled in controversy since being detained in Australia last week over a visa and vaccination dispute.
“I want to address the continuing misinformation about my activities and attendance at events in December in the lead up to my positive PCR Covid test result,” he said in the statement.
“This is misinformation which needs to be corrected, particularly in the interest of alleviating broader concern in the community about my presence in Australia, and to address matters which are very hurtful and concerning to my family.
“I want to emphasize that I have tried very hard to ensure the safety of everyone and my compliance with testing obligations.”
Djokovic said he had attended a basketball game in Serbia’s capital, Belgrade, on December 14, where many people tested positive afterward. He showed no symptoms, but got tested on December 16.
On December 17, before he received the official result of his test, he took a rapid test that came out negative, and attended a youth tennis awards ceremony — after which he received the official positive result, according to the statement.
The following day, December 18, he did a media interview and photo shoot with French sports newspaper L’Equipe, saying he went ahead because “I didn’t want to let the journalist down.” He socially distanced and wore a mask except for the photo shoot, he added.
“While I went home after the interview to isolate for the required period, on reflection, this was an error of judgment and I accept that I should have rescheduled this commitment,” he said.
According to L’Equipe’s story on Wednesday, journalist Franck Ramella and photographer Etienne Garnier reported Djokovic seemed “well,” despite it later emerging the tennis star had been diagnosed with Covid-19 on December 16.
The L’Equipe article states Ramella has since tested negative for Covid-19 — it does not mention Garnier’s health.
Ramella told CNN he is en route to Melbourne to cover the Australian Open.
“For 33 minutes, according to the timer on the recorder, Djokovic answered the questions with confidence,” a CNN translation of the French language article reads.
“We were being safe, facing each other at a distance of nearly one meter, sitting on opposite sides of a long rectangular table. When Etienne asked him to remove his mask for five minutes during the interview, Djokovic refused.
“Then the photo session took place. Obviously, the Serbian champion removed his mask. We did not want him to pose with his face half-covered.
“Then he followed the instructions of Etienne, who was masked. He held the trophy at arm’s length, moving from one position to another, smiling or grinning to show that he had won. He also shouted to make it even more genuine.”
The article was published just hours before Djokovic apologized for…