Novak Djokovic welcome but Russians should be banned, says former minister

“The detail which is seriously vital to note is, did we as an organisation … do all the things we maybe could to observe the rules, and the at any time-altering setting, which was a quite volatile one at the time? Completely we did,” he mentioned.

“When we talk about Novak – would we have favored that what took place, didn’t materialize? Definitely.”

Australian Open chief Craig Tiley.

Australian Open chief Craig Tiley.Credit:Eddie Jim

Tiley did not respond to Colbeck’s criticism: “No. We’ve moved on. We have moved on to providing [the] 2023 [tournament]. Everyone’s moved on, Novak’s moved on. We have moved on. Everyone’s moved on. The government’s improved.”

Australian Open up organisers perform a specific evaluation each and every yr concentrating on all facets of the two-7 days event, and Tiley claimed on Friday part of the debrief appeared forward.

“So the extent of our debrief is definitely hunting forward with what we’re going to do due to the fact you can not change what is took place in the previous,” he reported.


Djokovic explained on Thursday his detention and deportation was “one of these things that stay with you for the relaxation of your life. It is a precious existence encounter … but I have to transfer on”.

Previous Liberal MP and Australian tennis great John Alexander explained it was terrific information that Djokovic had returned to Australia to perform.

“He’s gained the tournament … 9 periods. It was really unfortunate, all of this banning men and women from moving into the place, from a sporting point of look at it was terribly negative luck,” he explained.

“He’s paid an tremendous price for his potent beliefs, really don’t neglect he was also denied the possibility to engage in at the US Open [this] year much too.”

Alexander, who is returning to the commentary box immediately after retiring from federal politics, mentioned he did not want rehash the politics of the determination to deport Djokovic.

Colbeck claimed he had no problem with Djokovic staying able to enter Australia now given the vastly unique circumstances.

“I really don’t have a trouble with that as it is a distinct time these days to 12 months back. The choice I concern now is allowing [Daniil] Medvedev play,” he said. “I really don’t reckon any of them [Russian players] need to be taking part in.”

Russian and Belarussian players ended up this yr controversially banned at Wimbledon soon after fears from tournament organisers that Russian President Vladimir Putin could use scenes of productive gamers from these nations as a kind of propaganda. Amid substantial unrest in tennis, Wimbledon was therefore stripped of rankings points.


Groups from Russia and Belarus were banned from the Davis Cup and Billie Jean King Cup teams tournaments, as nicely as the new United Cup, a blended-gender occasion that has launched the Australian tennis summer time.

Tiley manufactured it crystal clear in Oct that Russian players were being welcome at Melbourne Park, but they could not overtly stand for Russia.

“They cannot take part in any action these as the anthem of Russia and they have to participate in as independent gamers below a neutral identify,” he claimed.

Colbeck claimed he had studied the history of the bans on cricket teams playing in South Africa for the duration of the apartheid period, and considered athletics these kinds of as tennis ought to ship a information to the Russian people about the invasion of Ukraine.

“Sport is one particular of these points that can send out a information to a place. I’ve had that watch for a very long time. We cannot soften our stance on this things. The Russians are however undertaking outrageous factors. I congratulate Wimbledon on the stance they took,” Colbeck reported.

The Albanese authorities has mentioned it will not block Russian and Belarusian tennis players from competing in the Australian Open and other main sporting events, but their flags and anthems will be banned and the gamers will contend underneath a neutral flag.

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