Prominent tennis star Novak Djokovic has had his visa to enter Australia dramatically revoked on his arrival in Melbourne.
The world number one was held in the city’s airport for several hours before border forces announced he had not met entry rules and would be deported.
On Thursday, he was told he would need to leave the country, following a 10-hour standoff with government officials at a Melbourne airport, where he was held in a room overnight over the validity of his visa and questions about the evidence supporting a medical exemption from a coronavirus vaccine.
The exemption was supposed to allow Djokovic, a 20-time Grand Slam tournament champion and one of the biggest stars in sports, to compete in the Australian Open even though he has not been vaccinated.
Djokovic did not immediately leave the country and was reported to be planning a legal challenge to the ruling Thursday. A spokesman for the tennis star did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
In a statement, the Australian Border Force said Djokovic “failed to provide appropriate evidence to meet the entry requirements to Australia, and his visa has been subsequently cancelled.
“Non-citizens who do not hold a valid visa on entry or who have had their visa cancelled will be detained and removed from Australia,” it added.