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Australian Border Force investigating whether Novak Djokovic made false travel declaration prior to arrival


The World No 1 returned to Melbourne Park’s centre court less than 24 hours after winning a court battle to remain in the country, but his right to defend his Australian Open title is still under scrutiny.

The Australian Border Force (ABF) is investigating whether Novak Djokovic submitted a false travel declaration ahead of his arrival in Australia on January 5.

The World No 1 returned to Melbourne Park on Tuesday after winning a court battle for the right to remain in the country, but a source told CNN his right to defend his Australian Open title is still under scrutiny.

According to a travel declaration submitted to court, Djokovic declared he had not travelled in the 14 days prior to his arrival in Australia on January 5.

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But pictures taken in the two-week period before January 5 appear to show Djokovic in both Spain and Serbia.

If Djokovic was found to have made false claims on his visa application, he could face up to 12 months in prison, the Department of Home Affairs website confirmed.

“Giving false or misleading information to the Australian Government is a serious offence. If convicted, the maximum penalty is imprisonment for 12 months,” it wrote.

The investigation comes as Immigration Minister Alex Hawke considers cancelling the Serbian’s visa – a move which could ban the tennis star from entering Australia for three years.

“As noted yesterday in the Federal Circuit and Family Court, Minister Hawke is considering whether to cancel Mr Djokovic’s visa under section 133C(3) of the Migration Act,” a spokesperson for the minister told CNN.

“In line with due process, Minister Hawke will thoroughly consider the matter. As the issue is ongoing, for legal reasons it is inappropriate to comment further.”

The 20-times Grand Slam champion says he’s “grateful” the judge overturned his visa cancellation and remains “focused” trying to compete in the Australian Open on Tuesday.



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