Novak Djokovic facing questions over positive COVID-19 result amid visa saga

“I felt compelled to go ahead and conduct the interview as I didn’t want to let the reporter down, but I made sure to distance myself socially and wear a mask except when my photo was taken. “he said of December. 18 interview, the day after he said he had obtained a positive result.

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Robert Potter, co-CEO of cybersecurity firm Internet 2.0, confirmed that there were inconsistencies between the time stamps in the documentation Djokovic presented to border forces officials and the URL linked to the QR code on one Djokovic tests.

“I cannot interpret the medical implications, but I would say that there is enough evidence to question the reliability of his documents submitted to the Australian government regarding his positive test,” Mr Potter said.

“The time stamp in the QR code of his positive test does not match the documents submitted. However, the timestamp of his negative test matches his submitted documents. As long as you are sure that the QR codes you sent me for evaluation match those submitted to the Australian government, then I am safe to say that Djokovic has some legitimate questions to answer.

German cybergroup zerforschung also discovered that, according to the ID numbers attached to the test results, questions were raised as to when Djokovic reported the positive result on December 16 and his alleged negative result on December 22. The identification number of the negative result is 50,000 fewer counts, suggesting that it was recorded before the positive result.

“Based on this evidence, the most plausible explanation is that the positive test result was added to the official Serbian database on December 26, not on December 16,” IT experts said. Der Spiegel.

Later Wednesday morning (Australian time), the German cybergroup said a “plausible explanation” for the time stamp discrepancy had been revealed, but not for the discrepancy around the confirmation codes.

Pointing to the web Serbian user posts from the HackerNews forum, it was theorized that the timestamps in the QR code and its linked URL were regenerated when the PDF was downloaded with a result. This could mean, for example, that Djokovic or someone on his behalf re-downloaded one of his results on December 26.

“This explains the inconsistencies in the time stamps – but not in the confirmation codes – as they remain the same”, zerforschung wrote in a detailed blog post update and on Twitter.

“And inconsistencies also exist in them. Confirmation codes are increasing, so the result of 16 should have a lower number than that of [the] 22. Yet it’s the opposite. “

Australian Border Force, lawyers for Djokovic and Tennis Australia have been contacted for comment.

In May 2021, the European news agency N1 reported that false COVID-19 PCR results could have been purchased in Serbia.

The news agency quoted “sources from the Serbian government’s e-administration office” as confirming that a fake PCR result bought by journalists on the black market was forged using Photoshop and a serial number. national personal identification.

The fake document purchased by investigative journalists, who sought to prove the ability to purchase false lab results, had the same letterhead from the Serbian Institute of Public Health as the document provided by Djokovic. The Sydney Morning Herald and Age does not suggest that Djokovic bought false test results.

Meanwhile, the Australian government is also studying a disagreement on Djokovic’s declaration of travel to Australia.

On the form, Djokovic said he had not traveled for 14 days prior to his January 6 arrival in Australia. Djokovic was actually in Belgrade on Christmas Day and was later spotted training in Marbella, Spain on December 31 and again on January 2.

Djokovic’s statement on Wednesday confirmed that his support team had made an “administrative error” in claiming that he had not traveled anywhere in the 14 days prior to his arrival in Australia.

“This was submitted by my support team on my behalf – as I told immigration officials upon my arrival – and my agency sincerely apologizes for the administrative error by checking the wrong box regarding my previous trip before coming to Australia, ”Djokovic wrote.

The Federal Circuit Court on Monday ordered, with the consent of both parties, that Djokovic’s visa be reinstated because he did not have enough time to prove that he had a valid exemption from the COVID-19 vaccine to his arrival in Australia.

Federal government insists it was right to cancel Djokovic’s visa last week on the grounds that a previous infection with COVID-19 in the past six months is not a valid reason to benefit from an exemption for non-vaccination. The court never ruled on this issue because the federal government admitted that it had failed to ensure procedural fairness for Djokovic.

Questions about Djokovic’s documentation came after the publication of photos of the Serb attending various functions without wearing a mask in the days following his positive result.

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