Novak Djokovic was granted medical exemption after ‘rigorous review process’ – Tennis Australia

Novak Djokovic lifts the Australian Open trophy

Two separate independent panels of medical experts reviewed Novak Djokovic’s application before he was granted a medical exemption to compete at the Australian Open, it has been confirmed.

After months of speculation over his participation in the season-opening Grand Slam, Djokovic confirmed on Tuesday that he will defend his title at Melbourne Park in a fortnight after he was granted a medical exemption.

Comment – Novak Djokovic walking into a storm after controversial Australian Open exemption

The decision by Tennis Australia (TA) to allow the world No 1 to compete in Melbourne after previously stating that only players, fans and officials who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 will no doubt raise questions.

However, a statement insisted that Djokovic was only handed the exemption after a “rigorous review process”.

“Novak Djokovic will compete at the Australian Open and is on his way to Australia,” it read.

“Djokovic applied for a medical exemption, which was granted following a rigorous review process involving two separate independent panels of medical experts.

“One of those was the Independent Medical Exemption Review Panel appointed by the Victorian Department of Health.

“They assessed all applications to see if they met the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) guidelines.”

The decision was backed up by the Victorian Department of Health as it was confirmed that those who have been handed exemptions have a “genuine medical condition”.

“The Victorian Government worked closely with Tennis Australia to set up an independent and rigorous process to assess requests for medical exemptions at the Australian Open,” according to the statement.

“Any player who is granted a medical exemption will have gone through a two-stage, independent process to verify they have a genuine medical condition that meets the criteria for an exemption.”