Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley has closed explosive reports that the organizing body was funding Novak Djokovic’s travel and legal expenses in his failed attempt to stay in Australia.
Ahead of the start of this week’s Australian Open, TA and Tiley came under fire for their role in managing Djokovic’s visa to enter the country after the Serbian superstar used a medical exemption to circumvent the country’s vaccination policy.
Djokovic, the current number 1 in the world, was deported from Australia earlier this week following the federal court’s decision to uphold his visa cancellation.
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In an interview with Nine host James Bracey during the television station’s Australian Open coverage, Tiley denied reports that TA financed Djokovic’s legal expenses and paid the bill for his trip.
“I have seen these reports today and we are not really going into the details of the financial deals we have with players, but these reports are simply untrue,” Tiley said.
Tiley’s position as CEO has also been thoroughly investigated in the wake of Djokovic’s legal battle, but the longtime TA chief said he would not resign from his role when pressured on the case.
“No. We issued a statement recently,” he said.
“I’m very focused today on delivering a great event. I’m proud to be able to stand up here and you can see what’s behind us.
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“I’m proud of what the team has done and what we’ve delivered so far. We’ve had four days of incredible tennis and great entertainment, and we want that for the next 10 days.”
Much of the investigation Tiley has been subjected to has surrounded TA’s advice to Djokovic as he tried to circumvent Australia’s ban on unvaccinated travelers.
Tiley remained tight when asked about that question.
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“We have already addressed those issues. Today we are just focusing on delivering day 4 and a fantastic event,” he added.
“You have seen how well the Aussies did today, as an example. The feedback we get back from our fans on the side of the time they have is amazing.
“So we’re looking forward to another 10 days of great tennis, and at some point there will be two great champions.”
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