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Australia Border Force cancel Czech player Renata Voracova's visa

 
Melbourne, Jan 7 (IANS) Australian Border Force has cancelled the visa of female Czech tennis player Renata Voracova, who had entered the country to take part in this month's Australian Open.

The 38-year-old Voracova, who has already played in a warm-up tournament in Melbourne, has been detained in the same immigration hotel as Serbian star Novak Djokovic. She was detained by Australian Border Force officials on Thursday and taken to the Park Hotel in Carlton, an abc.net.au report said.

The tennis player was reportedly informed by the ABF officials that she must soon leave the country, but it is still unclear if she intends to challenge the decision. She is believed to have entered Australia last month with a vaccine exemption granted by Tennis Australia because she had recently contracted and recovered from Covid-19.

Meanwhile, the Czech diplomats are in contact with the player and the country's embassy has launched a formal protest with Australian authorities.

"We can confirm that Czech tennis player Renata Vorácová is in the same detention as Djokovic, together with several other players," the Czech Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

"We submitted through our embassy in Canberra a protest note and are asking for an explanation of the situation," it added.

The government in Prague also said that Renata will now withdraw from the tournament and leave Australia.

"However, Renata Vorácová decided to drop out of the tournament due to limited possibilities for training and to leave Australia," the statement further said.

The Australian government said on Friday that a recent infection with the Covid-19 virus does not mean a foreign national can enter the country without being fully vaccinated.

More than 90 percent of Australia's adult population has had at least two doses of the coronavirus vaccine, but many still face restrictions as Covid case numbers rise. The initial decision to issue a visa to Djokovic caused anger amongst many Australians, who said that sports stars should be treated the same as everybody else.

--IANS

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