Unvaccinated tennis player Novak Djokovic has been given the green light to defend his French Open title in May.
France this week scrapped COVID-19 rules banning people who aren’t jabbed from entering restaurants, sports arenas and other public venues.
The major change means the 20-time grand slam winner can compete on the iconic red dirt courts at Roland Garros.
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“As things stand, nothing stands in the way of Djokovic taking part in the French Open,” tournament director Amelie Mauresmo told a news conference on Wednesday.
Novak was unable to compete in the Australian Open after the federal government cancelled his visa twice and deported him days before the Melbourne event in January.
The Serbian superstar told the BBC last month that he was willing to miss upcoming grand slam tournaments as well if they required vaccination to play.
Asked why, the 34-year-old replied: “Because the principles of decision making on my body are more important than any title or anything else. I’m trying to be in tune with my body as much as I possibly can.”
“I was never against vaccination, but I’ve always supported the freedom to choose what you put in your body.”
Mr Djokovic is also out of this month’s ATP 1000 tournaments at Indian Wells and Miami, unable to enter the United States without a proof of vaccination.
“The CDC has confirmed that regulations won’t be changing so I won’t be able to play in the US. Good luck to those playing in these great tournaments,” he wrote on Twitter.
While proof of vaccination is no longer required to enter France or any sporting event in the country, French tennis federation president Gilles Moretton warned things could change before the tournament starts on May 22.
“There’s still a virus circulating and we have to be cautious. If things were to happen again and the government would take new measures we would not be excluded from these measures,” he explained.