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CLAIM ID

a93d71e0

Novak Djokovic is the first professional athlete to be banned from a sporting event for not taking the COVID-19 vaccine.

In October 2021, Brooklyn Nets said player Kyrie Irving won't play until eligible under the local COVID-19 vaccination mandate.

In October 2021, Brooklyn Nets said player Kyrie Irving won't play until eligible under the local COVID-19 vaccination mandate. On January 16, 2022, tennis player Novak Djokovic was expelled from Australia after a Federal Court canceled his visa over his decision of refusing to get vaccinated against COVID-19, France 24 reported. The tennis player had initially reached Australia on January 6 to play the Australian Open. After his deportation, posts that he was the first and the only professional athlete to be banned from a sporting event for not taking the COVID-19 vaccine started making rounds on social media. However, the claim is baseless.

Before Djokovic's expulsion, several athletes were banned from competing in various sporting events for refusing the COVID-19 vaccine. Moreover, Djokovic was not prohibited from playing; instead, he was deported over the policies over travel restrictions and exemptions laid by the Australian Government's Department of Home Affairs.

According to an ESPN report, in October 2021, Brooklyn Nets basketball player Kyrie Irving was told that he could not play for the team until he completed New York's COVID-19 vaccine requirement.

Also, professional golfer, Charlie Beljan claimed that he was "forced to withdraw" from the Professional Golfers' Association's Bermuda Championship in October because he "didn't take the jab." However, the golfer later deleted the tweet, according to a CNN report.

Considering that Djokovic is not the only sportsperson expelled from a sporting event, we mark the claim as false.

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