Novak Djokovic has said that he would rather not compete in major tennis tournaments than be forced to get the Covid vaccine.
The world number one was deported from Melbourne ahead of the Australian Open in January over concerns about his vaccination status.
Now, the tennis star has told the BBC that he will not defend either his Wimbledon or French Open titles if mandatory jabs are required.
Here we take a look at what Djokovic said about why he has chosen not to be vaccinated.
Why is Novak Djokovic not vaccinated?
When the 34-year-old was asked why he is not vaccinated, he replied: "Because the principles of decision making on my body are more important than any title or anything else.
“I’m trying to be in tune with my body as much as I possibly can."
Djokovic added that he had “always been a great student of wellness, wellbeing, health, nutrition.”
The Serbian sportsman also said that his decision had been influenced by the changes he has made to his diet and sleeping habits, which he believes has had a positive impact on his athletic abilities.
Is Novak Djokovic an anti-vaxxer?
In the interview with the BBC, the tennis player denied that he was an anti-vaxxer.
He said: “I have never said I’m part of that movement.
“It’s really unfortunate that there has been this kind of misconception and wrong conclusion based upon something that I completely disagree with,” he added.
Djokovic also told the broadcaster that he was “keeping [his] mind open” to the possibility of getting vaccinated in the future “because we are all trying to find collectively, a best possible solution to end Covid”.
“I was never against vaccination. I understand that globally, everyone is trying to put a big effort into handling this virus and seeing, hopefully, an end soon to this virus,” he added.
What Novak Djokovic said about playing at Wimbledon
Djokovic said that he will not defend either his Wimbledon or French Open titles if the tournaments require mandatory jabs.
“Yes, that is the price that I’m willing to pay,” the world number one said when asked if he would sacrifice participating in the competitions.
“I say that everybody has the right to choose or act or say or feel whatever is appropriate for them.”
Djokovic is set to return to action at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, which begin on February 21.
Entrants to Dubai do not need to be vaccinated against Covid-19 and it is a tournament Djokovic has won five times.
A message from the editor:
Thank you for reading. NationalWorld is a new national news brand, produced by a team of journalists, editors, video producers and designers who live and work across the UK. Find out more about who’s who in the team, and our editorial values. We want to start a community among our readers, so please follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and keep the conversation going.