WTA on Renata Voracova’s Australian visa cancelation: “She did nothing wrong”

4
Nike fall sale

The WTA released a statement about Renata Voracova‘s unexpected deportation from Australia, reinstating that the Czech doubles player followed all the rules and procedures to get a medical exemption for COVID-19 vaccination and entry into the country.

Renata Voracova

The WTA pointed out that all tennis players should get vaccinated and that they fully support Australian immigration policies. However, they deemed “unfortunate” the recent miscommunication in the Australian government:

The complications experienced over the past few days where athletes have followed the approved and authorized process of receiving a medical exemption for entry into the country are unfortunate. Renata Voracova followed these rules and procedures, was cleared for entry upon her arrival, competed in an event and then suddenly had her visa cancelled when she had done nothing wrong.

The WTA doubles world No.82 Voracova had already been in Australia for eight days and played a tennis match in Melbourne when all of a sudden her visa got canceled and she was forced to go to the immigration detention hotel. On Saturday, feeling like a criminal, she left the country.

On Wednesday, Voracova told BBC Russian:

I sent all the documents. They were approved. If I knew there would be even a 1% chance of something not being right, I wouldn’t go.

The 38-year-old Voracova now plans to seek compensation from Tennis Australia and hopes that she won’t have to take legal action:

The air ticket alone cost 60,000 Czech crowns ($2,780) and my coach travelled with me. And then there is all that time, hotels, training for the Grand Slam, the potential prize money.

Voracova said that not even in her darkest dreams could she have envisaged this situation and is still recovering from the shock, discomfort and exhaustion. On top of this traumatic experience, the Czech WTA player is now facing a three-year ban and other visa issues.

4 COMMENTS

  1. Djokovic’s ban was only overturned on procedural issues. The judge found that he had not been given enough time to consult his lawyers, or something like that. So the court did not actually rule on whether it was legal for people to enter without vaccination if they had a recent infection. Therefore there has been no decision that would relate to Renata’s case.

    It seems that Tennis Australia was told by the federal government that prior infection was not necessarily a valid reason to enter, but they may have told the players that it was. And this was approved by the body that was approving the visas for the tennis players, I’m a bit unclear but I think it was a state body not federal. See what I mean about the confusion between state and federal governments.

    Anyway maybe if Renata had contested the ban rather than leaving she may have been allowed to stay, but I expect she hasn’t got as much money as Djokovic to do that. Meanwhile we hear that he was out mingling with kids without a mask when he allegedly had COVID, and also made another wrong declaration on his visa application. It will be interesting to see what sort of reception he gets if he does play. Not a popular guy round here at all.

  2. CLT, I think Renata was in extreme shock and felt uncomfortable, even terrorized, so she didn’t even feel like staying or playing tennis. That’s what I concluded from her interviews and I understand her. I also wouldn’t like to stay somewhere where I feel unwelcome. Novak is a fighter and even thrives on these problems in a way.

  3. I can see it would be very unpleasant for her. They really messed her round I think it’s reasonable for her to ask to have her costs covered. Essentially I think she is a victim in a larger political game (between government and anti-vaxers, between federal and state governments which are on opposing sides of the spectrum, between Tennis Australia and the federal government, federal government trying to curry favour with voting public, etc) which no-one absolutely understands. And it seems as if Tennis Australia may be at least partly at fault as well as the confusion between the state and federal governments.

  4. CLT, I also think that Tennis Australia could be the one to partly blame for the confusion. As I understand, it is in their interest that all players show up, regardless of their vaccination status, so they probably tried to negotiate the players’ exemption or something like that, and in the process some things got miscommunicated.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here