“That is the price I am willing to pay”

Source: Steve Watson

World tennis ace Novak Djokovic is sticking to his guns and refusing to take COVID vaccines, vowing to boycott both the Wimbledon tournament in London and the French Open in Paris if organisers say he must be vaxxed in order to take part.

Following his incarceration and eventual deportation from Australia last month, Djokovic has spoken for the first time, asserting that “my body is more important than any title or anything else.”

In an interview with the BBC, the multi-time grand slam champion said  “That is the price I am willing to pay,” when asked if he would miss further events should they mandate vaccinations for participants.

“I’m trying to be in tune with my body as much as I possibly can,” Djokovic continued, adding “for me, as an elite professional athlete I have always carefully reviewed and assessed everything that comes in, from the supplements, the food, the water that I drink or sports drinks, anything really that comes into my body as a fuel.”

“Based on all the information that I got, I decided not to take the vaccine,” he further declared.

When asked if he was an anti-vaxxer, Djokovic answered “I say everyone has the right to choose or act however they feel is appropriate for them,” clarifying “I was never against vaccination.”

“I understand and support fully the freedom to choose whether you want to get vaccinated or not. I have not spoken about this before and I have not disclosed my medical record and my vaccination status because I had the right to keep that private and discrete,” the star explained.

Djokovic said that he is willing to forgo becoming statistically the greatest player in history if it means he keeps his freedom to choose not to be vaccinated.

Speaking on the debacle in Australia, Djokovic added “I was really sad and disappointed with the way it all ended for me in Australia,” also noting “The reason why I was deported from Australia was because the Minister for Immigration used his discretion to cancel my visa based on his perception that I might create some anti-vax sentiment in the country or in the city, which I completely disagree with.”

As we reported at the time, Djokovic won his appeal against having his visa cancelled, yet authorities clearly planned to make an example out of him over his beliefs on vaccination as a warning to others.