Novak Djokovic has an 80% stake in a biotech company that is developing a COVID-19 treatment, QuantBioRes CEO Ivan Loncarevic told Reuters.
Djokovic made the purchase in June 2020, but Loncarevic did not reveal how much he invested. Per outlet, Djokovic owns 40.8%, while his wife, Jelena, owns 39.2% of the company. Loncarevic stressed to Reuters that QuantBioRes is working to develop a treatment, not a vaccine, against COVID-19.
The 20-time major singles champion recently made global headlines following his COVID-19 controversy and visa battle ahead of the Australian Open, which resulted in his expulsion. The Australian government had withdrawn his visa from the country for the second time, a few days before three federal court judges unanimously rejected Djokovic's application to overturn the immigration minister's decision.
Immigration Secretary Alex Hawke said Friday that he used his discretion to cancel Djokovic's visa for the sake of the public interest. According to court documents and CNN, he quoted that part of the reason for canceling the visa was that the 35-year-old's presence could lead to "increase in anti-vaccination mood" or even "civil unrest."
"In particular, his conduct may encourage or influence others to imitate his past conduct and fail to comply with appropriate public health measures following a positive COVID-19 test result, which in itself may lead to transmission of the disease and serious risk to their health and others," Hawke argued, according to CNN.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion traveled to Australia after Victoria state authorities granted him a medical exemption to the country’s strict vaccination requirements. According to his lawyer, it was given because the tennis star tested positive for COVID-19 last month. However, on arrival almost two weeks ago, the Australian Border Force rejected his exemption as invalid and prevented him from entering the country.
Despite Djokovic's controversy, the ATP issued a statement saying "97 percent of the top 100 players have been vaccinated, leading up to this year's Australian Open." Sources told SIs Jon Wertheim this week, the figure was previously at only 48% per. October 8, 2021.
The Ministry of Health has previously, according to the AP, stated that the tennis star was a "low" risk of transmitting COVID-19 and a "very low" risk of transmitting it at the Open.
As Djokovic misses this year's first major championship, he may also miss this year's second major, the French Open, due to a new vaccination law in France.
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