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In the absence of a vaccine, surfing stars Slater and Medina turned away from Australia like Djokovic?

In the absence of a vaccine, surfing stars Slater and Medina turned away from Australia like Djokovic?

Surfers Kelly Slater and Gabriel Medina may not get visas to participate in WSL competitions in Australia next April. The Australian Sports Minister has confirmed that the American and Brazilian surfing legends will suffer the same fate as Novak Djokovic if they refuse to be vaccinated against Covid-19. Same cause, same consequences. World number 1 tennis player Novak Djokovic was unable to defend his Australian Open title due to his vaccination status. This Tuesday, the Australian Sports Minister assured that surfers Kelly Slater and Gabriel Medina would also not benefit from an exception and had to be vaccinated against Covid-19, in order to participate in the two stages of the World Surf League scheduled for next April, in the provinces of Victoria and Western Australia. “They have no chance of entering the country,” said Federal Minister Richard Colbeck in remarks relayed by The Sydney Morning Herald. Whether you are a professional sportsman or a simple tourist, the Australian government intends to strictly apply the law without any preferential treatment. Novak Djokovic learned it the hard way and the two surfing stars could meet the same fate.

Slater supported Djokovic

At 49 and from the top of his 11 world titles, Kelly Slater seems particularly opposed to compulsory vaccination, even if he has never taken a position directly against the vaccine. Right in the middle of the media storm around Djokovic, the American publicly gave his support to the Serb, regretting “the hatred due to the brainwashing in the hearts of people, regardless of their vaccination status”. Invited to react to these statements, Richard Colbeck clarified his thoughts on the obligation to vaccinate athletes. “I think he knows the rules. It doesn’t matter whether you are a surfer, a tennis player, a tourist or anyone who else, these are the rules, again estimated the Australian Minister for Sport.They apply to everyone. […] I don’t like the possibility that he could compete in Victoria and I hate to think that he could compete in Western Australia.”

Uncertainty for Medina

Close to Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, openly opposed to the Covid-19 vaccine, Gabriel Medina will also have to clarify his vaccination situation before being able to go to Australia for the WSL stages. be vaccinated by the Auriverde Olympic Committee before the Tokyo Olympics in the summer of 2021. However, the 28-year-old surfer then assured that he would soon receive his first dose against the coronavirus. The doubt persists on its vaccinal status. On the side of the WSL, without wanting to oblige the competitors to be vaccinated, we hope that they will be so as not to be embarrassed during the many trips across the globe. Also with the SMH, one of the leaders of the organization confirmed that it would “rigorously” follow the rules put in place by the countries. “We encourage all those who are able to get vaccinated, explained Andrew Stark We have advised everyone associated with WSL that unvaccinated individuals may face significant challenges when traveling around the world and may be barred from entering certain countries.” Dura lex, sed lex. The law is harsh, but it is the law.

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