Australian Open – Kovit-19: Novak Djokovic, Suspense ends, questions not decided

Australian Open - Kovit-19: Novak Djokovic, Suspense ends, questions not decided
If Novak comes to the Australian Open, he will be vaccinated or get a medical exemption“A few weeks ago, the Australian Grand Slam captain, Craig Tyle, spoke. Thirteen days before the start of the tournament, Novak Djokovic announced himself on Tuesday. Must try to win 10th title in Melbourne. Yet according to the world number one, it is a medical exemption that allows him to rehabilitate.

The good news is that Djokovic is in the game. He has been the best player on the planet, the undisputed leader of world tennis and the centerpiece of the Australian Open for more than a decade. It’s the end of a soap opera between questions, rumors and speculation. But Tuesday’s announcement raises a number of questions.

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What are the criteria for playing in Melbourne?

Thirty-six solutions are not. There are only two: providing a complete vaccination schedule or benefiting from a medical exemption that allows you to play without being vaccinated. The organizers of the Australian Open only follow the decisions of local authorities. Still, vaccination is not always enough. For example, Australia does not recognize the validity of the Russian Sputnik vaccine. Thus, the Russian athlete Natalia Viklyantseva, who was vaccinated against Sputnik, abandoned the trip to Antibots. You should have received two doses of the reference vaccine (Moderna, Pfizer) or one dose of Johnson & Johnson.

Last November, the state of Victoria, where Melbourne is located, refused to grant special exemptions to non-vaccinated players so they could participate in the tournament. “Medical exemptions are medical exemptions only, and there is no way around these rules for privileged tennis players.The state’s deputy prime minister, James Merlin, has warned that rumors of a possible exemption for Novak Djokovic will be dropped. It has plagued a section of the local population subject to strict hygiene protocol since the onset of the epidemic.

“Given the context and his position, Djokovic will not be in any disgrace.”

Who grants medical exemptions?

It was only in early December that the Australian Open 2022 edition announced its policy of medical exemptions to players. Team, If you can access this document, you should follow the guidelines of ATAGI (Australian Technical Advisory Council), Australia’s Technical Advisory Council on Immunization.

Every player wishing to benefit from a medical exemption must place a request by Friday, December 10, five weeks prior to the start of the tournament. This request should be examined by a panel of independent medical experts who will determine the legality of the claim.

By confirming on Tuesday that Novak Djokovic actually benefited from an exemption, he wants to be reminded that the Australian Open is subject to his request. “A rigorous study“In its press release, the competition mentions it.”Two different groups of medical professionals“I saw the world number one case. Craig Daily talks about a protocol.”Fair and independent“. So granting this exception is not a system of competition that determines whether or not it is alone in its corner.

Craig Tyle at the 2021 Australian Open

Thanks: Getty Images

The state government of Victoria itself wants to recall the various stages of this process. They are two in number. The initial request was first made to the Australian Tennis Federation, which, after review, sent it to the IMERP (Independent Medical Exemption Review Committee) or not. “Highly qualified professional physicians in cardiology, immunology and sports medicine“.

In the same press release the government mentions an important piece of information: the request is anonymous. When reading a particular exception case, IMERP a priori ignores the claimant’s identity. The doctors who granted the medical exemption to Novak Djokovic did not know that the request came from him.

What are these medical exemptions?

They are few in number. The first is about the victims of Covid 19. Those who can prove to be infected after July 31, 2021 do not have to submit the full vaccination schedule. In fact, it is possible to postpone vaccination for six months, not earlier than January 31st. The 2022 Australian Open men’s singles final ends on the 30th.

If contraindications or adverse reactions occur following the administration of the first dose of the vaccine approved by the Australian authorities, it is subject to complete medical exclusion. It may be heart disease that started in the last three months, i.e. myocarditis or pericarditis, but not severe heart failure or acute rheumatism. The applicant for the exception must provide proof that the origin of these problems is actually the result of the first dose of the vaccine. Behavior or mental disorders may also be taken into account.

On the other hand, family history, minor side effects and allergies to other types of vaccines are not considered sufficient to exclude this process. Under what circumstances did Novak Djokovic get medical exemption on this basis? It is difficult to be definite and it is not possible for the player or the organizers to get involved in this matter.

But it seems more difficult to imagine that he suffered from severe heart or joint problems when he appeared in Masters in mid-November and was preparing to move to Australia between the beginning of 2022. According to the document above, he may have contracted the virus after July 31. But when?

Do other players benefit from the exception?

To this day, Novak Djokovic is the first known player to receive a medical exemption from participating in the Australian Open. According to the latest data from the ATP tour dated December 24, 95% of the top 100 members of the ATP rankings have a complete immunization schedule. According to the WTA, the rate reached 60% in October, but it has probably increased (at the same time it was 65% for men).

So Djokovic’s case was a minority in the men’s circle. The truth is, he never said publicly whether he was vaccinated or not. “That is a personal matter“, He always said. But he took a general stand against the vaccine in the spring of 2020:”Personally, I do not vaccinate. I don’t want anyone to force me to be vaccinated for travelHis claim for medical exemption to come to Australia also confirms that he was not vaccinated or did not have a complete immunization schedule.

In any case, exemption requests are rare. But Craig Tyle, who did not want to be named, said the other players were “exempt”.In some cases, their request was granted, He admitted Sunday. But it is his choice whether to say it publicly or not. “

Pierre-Higue Herbert is ranked out of the top 10, so not included in the statistics published by ATP and not vaccinated. The French player chose not to go to Australia and did not put forward a preliminary claim seeking exemption. Now one thing is for sure: Novak Djokovic will be in Melbourne.

Novak Djokovic defeats Daniel Medvedev at the Australian Open final on February 21, 2021 with his trophy

Thanks: Getty Images

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About the Author: Cory Weinberg

Cory Weinberg covers the intersection of tech and cities. That means digging into how startups and big tech companies are trying to reshape real estate, transportation, urban planning, and travel. Previously, he reported on Bay Area housing and commercial real estate for the San Francisco Business Times. He received a "best young journalist" award from the National Association of Real Estate Editors.

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