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anti-vax Novak Djokovic revealed as huge stakeholder in company developing a 'Covid cure'

Djokovic and his wife Jelena are majority investors in a company looking to develop a a treatment for coronavirus.

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Novak Djokovic prepares to take his seat on a plane to Belgrade, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates after he was deported from Australia on Sunday after losing a bid to stay in the country to defend his Australian Open title despite not being vaccinated against Covid19. Photo: AP Photo/Darko Bandic

Novak Djokovic prepares to take his seat on a plane to Belgrade, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates after he was deported from Australia on Sunday after losing a bid to stay in the country to defend his Australian Open title despite not being vaccinated against Covid19. Photo: AP Photo/Darko Bandic

Novak Djokovic prepares to take his seat on a plane to Belgrade, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates after he was deported from Australia on Sunday after losing a bid to stay in the country to defend his Australian Open title despite not being vaccinated against Covid19. Photo: AP Photo/Darko Bandic

Novak Djokovic and his wife Jelena are majority investors in a company looking to develop a a treatment for coronavirus.

The world number one was deported from Australia last week after his visa was revoked by the Australian government following his refusal to be vaccinated against the virus.

Now it has emerged he is a a big investor in Danish company QuantBioRes, which is working on a treatment that which inhibits the coronavirus from infecting the human cell.

“The tennis player’s acquisition of the 80% stake was made in June 2020 but declined to say how much it was,” Ivan Loncarevic, the CEO of QuantBioRes, told Reuters.

“It expects to launch clinical trials in Britain this summer, the firm is working on a treatment, not a vaccine.

“The company had about a dozen researchers working in Denmark, Australia and Slovenia. Djokovic and his wife Jelena own 40.8% and 39.2% of the company, respectively”

Meanwhile, the reason why Djokovic lost his final court case and was thrown out of Australia last Sunday have now been revealed, with judges concluding it was reasonable for Australia’s Immigration Minister to conclude he holds anti-vaccination views and could be a threat to Australia’s public health.

That was the conclusion of the three judges who heard the case at the country’s Federal Court on Sunday, with the reasons for their judgment published on Thursday.

One of the grounds on which Djokovic appealed was that it was unreasonable to paint him as anti-vaccination, but the judges said: “It was plainly open to the minister to infer that Mr Djokovic had chosen not to be vaccinated because he was opposed to vaccination or did not wish to be vaccinated.

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Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic in Melbourne Airport before boarding a flight out of the country.

Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic in Melbourne Airport before boarding a flight out of the country.

Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic in Melbourne Airport before boarding a flight out of the country.

“It was also open to the minister to infer that the public would view his attitude as the media had portrayed: that he was unwilling to be vaccinated.”

Hawke based his decision on a belief that Djokovic’s vaccination stance may foster similar sentiment in Australia and thus negatively impact public health.

Djokovic’s legal team argued there was no evidence for such a view, but the judges said: “An iconic world tennis star may influence people of all ages, young or old, but perhaps especially the young and the impressionable, to emulate him. This is not fanciful; it does not need evidence.

“Even if Mr Djokovic did not win the Australian Open, the capacity of his presence in Australia playing tennis to encourage those who would emulate or wish to be like him is a rational foundation for the view that he might foster anti-vaccination sentiment.”

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Hawke used his personal power to re-cancel Djokovic’s visa after an earlier court hearing ruled the initial decision by the border force should be cancelled on procedural grounds.

The Federal Court was not able to consider the merits of the minister’s decision, only to rule on whether it was irrational or if he had exceeded his powers.

“There was no requirement upon the minister in exercising his powers… to afford Mr Djokovic natural justice,” said the judges.

“Another person in the position of the minister may have not cancelled Mr Djokovic’s visa. The minister did.”

Tennis Australia’s role in the fiasco has been under fierce scrutiny, with the governing body securing exemptions from the Victorian Government for unvaccinated individuals to enter Australia only for at least four people to end up being sent home.

Chief executive Craig Tiley, who is also the tournament director, was booed when he came out on court on Thursday to take part in a ceremony marking the singles retirement of Sam Stosur.

Tiley, usually a familiar face on TV around the tournament, has been keeping a very low profile for the last couple of weeks but he spoke to host broadcaster Channel Nine on Thursday.

He did not answer questions regarding the events leading to Djokovic’s deportation but denied reports that Tennis Australia paid the Serbian’s legal and travel costs.

“I have seen those reports today and we don’t really go into the detail of any financial arrangements that we have with the players but those reports are simply untrue,” he said.

Asked whether he would consider resigning, Tiley said: “No. We’ve put a statement out recently and I’m very focused today delivering a great event.

“I’m proud of what the team has done and proud of what we’ve delivered so far. We’ve had four days of unbelievable tennis and great entertainment and we will continue to have that for the next 10 days.”

Meanwhile, there are reports that Djokovic is considering suing the Australian government for the treatment he receieved after arriving in the country.

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