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Tennis star Novak Djokovic to compete in the Australian Open after getting vaccine medical exemption

Novak Djokovic is set for the Australian Open after being granted a medical exemption from the COVID-19 vaccine requirement.

The tennis star, who in 2020 said he was "opposed to vaccination," announced on Instagram that he would compete in the Australian Open "with an exemption permission," and officials confirmed that he received an exemption to the requirement that all players be fully vaccinated, per The Washington Post

"Djokovic applied for a medical exemption which was granted following a rigorous review process involving two separate independent panels of medical experts," organizers said. "One of those was the Independent Medical Exemption Review Panel appointed by the Victorian Department of Health. They assessed all applications to see if they met the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunization guidelines."

Australian Open officials also said that as part of this process, personal information was redacted "to ensure privacy for all applicants." 

Djokovic has not disclosed his vaccination status, but there were questions as to whether he would compete in the Australian Open after he previously said in April 2020 he is "opposed to vaccination" and "wouldn't want to be forced by someone to take a vaccine in order to be able to travel," per CBS News. Earlier this year, he said he didn't "want to be labeled as someone who is against or who is for vaccines" and said he would "keep the decision as to whether I'm going to get vaccinated or not to myself," CNN reports. His father speculated in November he "probably" wouldn't play in the Australian Open due vaccine requirements. 

But Djokovic wrote on Instagram on Tuesday, "I'm heading Down Under with an exemption permission. Let's go 2022 !!"