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Novak Djokovic of Serbia reacts after beating Karen Khachanov of Russia in the second round match during day 10 of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis at Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium on February 23, 2022 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Photo by Martin Dokoupil / Getty Images

PARIS (LifeSiteNews) – Tennis star Novak Djokovic should be free to compete at the upcoming French Open despite being unvaccinated, as long as vaccine passports remain lifted in France.

This was confirmed by tournament director Amélie Mauresmo during press conference at the Roland-Garros tennis court Wednesday.

“As things currently stand, nothing stands in the way of Djokovic taking part in the French Open,” Mauresmo said.

Back in January, it seemed very unlikely that Djokovic would be able to compete at the Rolland-Garros tournament after France’s Sports Ministry said that there would be no exemption from a vaccine passport legislation which had then just been passed by French Parliament.

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People of goodwill can disagree about the safety, efficacy and religious implications of a new vaccine for the coronavirus.

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Fear of a disease - which we know very little about, relative to other similar diseases - must not lead to knee-jerk reactions regarding public health, nor can it justify supporting the hidden agenda of governmental as well as non-governmental bodies that have apparent conflicts of interest in plans to restrict personal freedoms. 

The so-called "public health experts" have gotten it wrong many times during the current crisis. We should not, therefore, allow their opinions to rush decision-makers into policies regarding vaccination.

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** While LifeSite opposes immorally-produced vaccines using aborted fetal cell lines, we do not have a position on any particular coronavirus vaccines produced without such moral problems. We realize many have general concerns about vaccines, but also recognize that millions of lives have been saved due to vaccines.

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“The vaccine passport will apply to everyone who is a spectator or a professional sportsperson. And this until further notice,” the ministry said at the time.

Since March 15 however, most COVID restrictions have been lifted in France, including the infamous vaccine passport which made it compulsory for people to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19 in order to gain access to sport venues.

Should this restriction remain lifted until May, it would mean that the Serbian national, who is now well-known for his stance against forced vaccination and for being unvaccinated himself, would be able to compete in what could be his first tournament in months.

But though Mauresmo’s statement at the press conference sounds like good news for the tennis star, there remains a possibility that things could change before then, as Gilles Moretton, President of the French Tennis Federation, pointed out in a much less promising statement for Djokovic.

“There is still a virus in circulation, we have to be careful,” said Moretton.

“Should certain things happen again, and should the government take new measures, we would not be excluded from those measures.”

Djokovic has had to withdraw from a number of very high-profile tennis competition already because of his stance on COVID vaccines.

In a drawn-out saga which made headlines at the time, the now-controversial tennis figure missed a January Australian Open and was even deported from that country after Immigration Minister Alex Hawke decided that the tennis ace’s “ongoing presence in [the country]” could have led “to an increase in anti-vaccination sentiment generated in the Australian community.”

And only last week, the world’s number one tennis star has had to withdraw from two major U.S. tournaments, the BNP Paribas and Miami Opens, because of the Centers for Disease Control’s ban on travelers who have rejected COVID vaccines.

In a recent BBC interview, Djokovic defended his choice to not get vaccinated saying that he has “always supported the freedom to choose what to put into your body.”

The tennis star recognized that his decision to forego the jab, for whatever reason, would bring opposition and difficulties in his career but said he was not deterred by this.

“I understand the consequences of my decision,” he said.

Acknowledging that he will likely face exclusion from many major tournaments to the detriment of his career record, the Serbian athlete simply stated that that was “the price I am willing to pay.”

LifeSiteNews has produced an extensive COVID-19 vaccines resources page. View it here.