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Djokovic denies being an anti-vaxxer, not totally for them either

Novak Djokovic has denied that he is against vaccinations.  The men's world no.1 is in New York ...



Djokovic denies being an anti-...
Other Sports

Djokovic denies being an anti-vaxxer, not totally for them either

Novak Djokovic has denied that he is against vaccinations. 

The men's world no.1 is in New York preparing for the US Open, which gets underway behind closed doors at Flushing Meadows on August 31.

Djokovic has taken some convincing to travel to the Big Apple, having previously been sceptical regarding the safety of the Grand Slam event.

As early as the first week in August, the Serb was humming and hawing about competing.

His cautious stance on travelling may be a curious one to some who've seen the 17-time Grand Slam-winner contract COVID-19 through an ill-advised tour of his own creation.

Both he and his wife Jelena were among those to catch coronavirus during the Adria Tour in the Balkans in June.

"We tried to do something with the right intentions," Djokovic has told the New York Times of events that - mid-pandemic - had no social distancing in place, and saw its competitors in packed nightclubs.

"Yes, there were some steps that could have been done differently, of course, but am I going to be then forever blamed for doing a mistake?

"I mean, OK, if this is the way, fine, I’ll accept it, because that’s the only thing I can do.

"Whether it’s fair or not, you tell me, but I know that the intentions were right and correct, and if I had the chance to do the Adria Tour again, I would do it again."

Getting the green light to organise a tour like that again would likely require a vaccine to be freely available on the market.

In April, Djokovic raised eyebrows with his obstinate position on vaccines.

I’m sure that there are vaccines that have little side effects that have helped people and helped stop the spread of some infections around the world.

In a Facebook Live chat, he said, "Personally I am opposed to vaccination and I wouldn’t want to be forced by someone to take a vaccine in order to be able to travel. But if it becomes compulsory, what will happen? I will have to make a decision."

The 33-year old also extolled the virtues of using trampolines as "important ways of detoxification". On Instagram, Djokovic has given a free platform to Chervin Jafarieh - the man behind Cymbiotika - a company that sells non-GMO and vegan potions for $14 per fluid ounce.

And when asked by Christopher Clarey if his vaccine stance had changed, Djokovic replied, "I see that the international media has taken that out of context a little bit, saying that I am completely against vaccines of any kind.

"My issue here with vaccines is if someone is forcing me to put something in my body. That I don’t want. For me that’s unacceptable.

"I am not against vaccination of any kind, because who am I to speak about vaccines when there are people that have been in the field of medicine and saving lives around the world?

"I’m sure that there are vaccines that have little side effects that have helped people and helped stop the spread of some infections around the world."

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Adria Open Adria Tour Coronavirus Covid-19 Flushing Meadows Novak Djokovic Tennis US Open