Novak Djokovic news: John McEnroe calls for investigation into Serbian’s positive test

Kevin Palmer
Novak Djokovic at practice

The story behind Novak Djokovic’s positive coronavirus test continues to create headlines and now John McEnroe has suggested the tennis authorities should ‘get to the bottom of it’.

The BBC released a report on Friday questioning aspects of Djokovic’s story after he presented evidence that contracted the virus on December 16th, just in time for him to apply for a medical exemption to play at the Australian Open.

Djokovic was then granted a visa to enter Australia with a medical exemption due to his positive test, even though he had side-stepped the pre-tournament requirement for all players to be vaccinated.

“BBC research has cast doubt on the timing of the positive Covid test Novak Djokovic used to enter Australia to try to compete in the Australian Open,” read their report.

“It was provided to exempt him from rules barring unvaccinated people. However, the serial number on his test on 16 December appears out of sequence with a sample of tests from Serbia over this period gathered by the BBC.

“It is also higher than for his second (negative) test result from six days later. His visa application was ultimately rejected, but not on these grounds.

“These findings raise questions over what impact a later positive test result would have had on his ability to enter Australia.”

The report went on to quote Djordje Krivokapic, a specialist in data and digital security, who suggested a technology glitch could explain why the numbers did not suggest Djokovic’s positive test was delivered on December 16th.

Now tennis legend McEnroe has suggested the confusion around the positive test needs to be resolved, as he offered up these comments to the Daily Telegraph.

When asked whether tennis authorities needed to get to the bottom of the matter, the seven-time Grand Slam champion said: “In short, yes. I’d like to know.

“I’ll give you an example of something I don’t understand. Novak Djokovic, to me, is an extremely smart person. If he tested positive on why in the hell would he do an interview with a journalist on December 16th? (that engagement was actually on December 18th, two days after Djokovic’s positive Covid test.

“That makes absolutely no sense to me. The guy’s not stupid. He’s smart. So, already, I’m like, ‘What?!’

“I mean, he wasn’t just sitting around going, ‘I hope I get Covid so I can get an exemption’. So that wasn’t happening.”

The International Tennis Federation and Association of Tennis Professionals did not respond to requests for comment on whether they would investigate Djokovic’s test by the Telegraph.