The last 24 hours of Melbourne’s sporting events have proven that there is no level playing field.

Forget equality of opportunity. Sponsors and advertisers love to see you as a winner and box office draw. If that’s the case, then you can get blatant favoritism and special treatment.

Australia currently fights off the new wave of Covid, with records infections (almost 300,000. over Christmas), and a ham-fisted PM who just decided to charge $AU10 dollars per home for rapid antigen testing (which have been free in the UK since April). He claimed that ‘we cannot go around making everything free. 

What does it matter to your health if you are poor?

It’s no surprise that PM Scott Morrison changed positions many times on social distancing, border controls, and mask-wearing.

If you ever thought there was a level playing field in sport, the events of the last 24 hours in Melbourne demonstrate that's a hollow joke, writes JANET STREET-PORTER. There's one rule for Novak Djokovic (pictured) - and another set of rules for mere mortals

If you thought that sport had a level playing surface, then the recent events in Melbourne prove it’s a joke. Novak Djokovic is the star of this photo. But there are other rules that apply to mere mortals.

As the Prime Minister kept Australia’s borders closed, over 40K Australian citizens were prevented from returning home in March 2020.

Many people witnessed loved ones dying overseas and had to travel by Zoom to see their funerals. The families were divided, leaving students and workers overseas to run out of money.

In November last year, the entry requirements for citizens returned to normal. However, only a small number of professionals from abroad were allowed in, provided they passed double vaccinations and had negative tests.

Funny thing is, however, that a number of film and foreign stars and celebs had already been admitted to Australia months before.

They were appearing or filming on TV. This was vital lifesaving work as you will agree. But it is no comfort to the less fortunate citizens who are miles away from their homes.

The reigning champion of world tennis, who won the Australian Open and 20 Grand Slams in the past three years, isn’t just “special”, he’s also a sporting God with a unique ability to travel around the globe during a pandemic.

Novak Djokovic is subject to one rule. The rules are different for mortals.

Djokovic sits in Melbourne’s airport as Border Agents detain him. The scheming surrounding his approval to play in the Australian Open which begins on January 17th is unfolding.

As I write, Djokovic is sitting in a room at Melbourne airport, detained by Border Agents as the farce surrounding his permission to compete in the Australian Open (which starts on January 17th) unfolds

Djokovic, who is currently in Melbourne Airport, has been detained by Border Agents while the saga surrounding his consent to participate in the Australian Open, which starts January 17th, unfolds.

An enormous controversy broke out earlier in the week, when it was revealed that he had received a’medical exemption” from two separate panels of doctors. This allowed him to bypass the strict conditions that required all workers and spectators to have to be double-vaccinated.

Not only must foreign players provide proof of their vaccinations, but they also have to undergo a PCR test upon arrival. They are then required to remain isolated until receiving a negative result.

It was reported that 26 players asked for medical exemptions. This is usually given to people who are suffering from an adverse reaction, have recently had major surgery or have significant medical conditions. 

Djokovic was one of the few who were granted permission.

Rod Laver, a tennis legend says that Djokovic has a super-fit physique. So how did Djokovic get the right to compete? 

Since the day I saw him at Wimbledon, almost ten years back, I have been a big fan.

Yes, he can be moody and temperamental. He is not known for his excellent tennis skills, but these are irritating traits. 

Novak, when he is in form, can be the most magic person you’ll ever meet on a tennis court.

Although I have been playing tennis since I was 12, and have had a coach for many years, I will never be able to match his natural talents. 

And so, even though Djokovic is an irritating b*****d at times, I honour his hard work and single-minded brilliance.

However, there is one thing that bothers him: his stubborn refusal to reveal his views on Covid or vaccinations.

Djokovic held a tennis tournament on the Balkans in June 2020 as the pandemic was just beginning. Exhibition matches were played in Serbia, Croatia, and Serbia.

It was completely absent that social distancing existed, with no obligation for rivals to pass tests. 

Dimitrov was the first to test positive. Djokovic returned to Monaco and flew back to Monaco, setting a terrible example for younger players. He later apologized.

JANET STREET-PORTER: Australia needs to show some guts and direct this diva to the door

JANETSTREET-PORTER: Australia must show courage and get this diva in front of the doors

After what turned out to have been a Super-Spreader Event, his wife, coach and three of the top players were all positive.

These were times when top-50 players in tennis were losing their cash, and tournaments all over the world had been cancelled.

There has been a persistent rumor that certain players might provide negative test results if they were able to gain income through dubious methods. 

No matter what sport you choose, there are bound to be some cheats.

Djokovic criticized vaccinations, and against what he termed ‘extreme measures’ to prevent covid from 2020. 

Djokovic, his family and their team took a flight this week from Dubai to Melbourne after he was granted a medical exemption.

Arriving at Border, officers found that the applicant had submitted for the wrong type work visa. This visa allegedly does not allow medical exemptions.

This is the reason why world number one tennis player sits in an airport room waiting for word on whether more rules can be changed to let him enter Melbourne, which has had more lockdown days than any other city since Covid’s inception in March 2020.

Djokovic spent that period living in Monte Carlo in luxurious luxury, taking part in tournaments, but he kept his secrets about ever being vaccinated.

Melbourne residents have been unable to shop, work, walk in parks, travel to other Australian states and play tennis.

It is not surprising that the decision to exempt a billionaire star has been met with disappointment.

Tennis Australia seems so desperate they don’t think anyone will watch the Serb play. Rafael Nadal has won 20 Grand Slams and arrived in Canada quietly just the other day. He is now ready to play. 

Scott Morrison has told the press that Djokovic should not get special treatment and will be put on the first plane home if he does not have all his paperwork in order. We'll see. Pictured: The tennis star after winning the Open in 2021

Scott Morrison stated to the press that Djokovic does not deserve special treatment. If he doesn’t have his paperwork, he will be taken on the first plane back. We’ll see. Photo: After winning the Open 2021, tennis superstar.

Even if sponsors threaten to stop the event from happening, the organizers will allow it to continue and thrive.

Organisers keep harping on how vital it is for young people of all backgrounds to play the game. They have begun to succeed.

Djokovic is a bad example and should be dealt with accordingly.

Scott Morrison stated to the press that Djokovic does not deserve special treatment. If he doesn’t have his paperwork, he will be taken on the first flight back. We’ll see.

Australia’s anti-vaxxers are shouty and loud, trying to shut down the country. Even with their best efforts, 90% of the over-16s received at least two jabs.

Djokivic, the poster boy for this group of hardcore older resisters, isn’t it? Now his father, angrily calling out supporters for action in the streets, claims this is a fight to ‘libertarian freedoms’.

Australia should show some courage and let this diva go.