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.
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.