TA was on Saturday left in embarrassment when it was revealed the governing body had sent a controversial letter to Australia’s advisory body on immunisation.
The Age and Sydney Morning Herald revealed that TA had told the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation that the viability of the Australian Open depended on whether players who had not been double-vaccinated would be allowed to enter the country to compete in the grand slam.
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But TA chief executive Craig Tiley has refused to accept blame for the Djokovic drama as the Serbian superstar prepares to appeal his cancelled visa in pursuit of a 10th Australian Open title.
It comes after home affairs lawyers applied to the federal circuit court to move the case from Monday to Wednesday, only for Judge Anthony Kelly to dismiss the application.
In a convoluted attempt at an explanation on Melbourne’s 9News, Tiley pointed to a confusing communication process.
“We’re not going to lay the blame on anyone because there’s much contradictory information the whole time,” Tiley said.
“Every single week we were talking to home affairs, we were talking to all parts of government to ensure that, one, we were doing the right thing and we were on the right process with these exemptions, but knowing also that everyone coming in had to be vaccinated.
“The conflicting information … is because of the challenging environment. We are in a very challenging environment.”
9News reporter Clint Stanaway prodded, reminding Tiley that the federal government had blamed TA.
Novak Djokovic court appeal due in court tomorrow
“I’m not going to blame anyone,” Tiley said.
“All I’m going to say is we know what we know, we know what we have in front of us and we’re going to do the best job we can to do what we do to bring these players in. The majority of them are in a position (to play the Australian Open) because we’ve got to this point.”
Stanaway then asked Tiley if Djokovic “should play the Australian Open”.
“I would like to see him play the Australian Open,” Tiley said.
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