It has been a stormy start to the year for tennis world number one Novak Djokovic. Or, as the memes like to call it, No-vax Djo-Covid. The Serb’s anti-vaccination stance was known throughout the pandemic but the matter came to a head as he was denied access to Australia to play the first Grand Slam of the calendar year.
Although a federal court has ruled that the government’s cancellation of his visa despite obtaining a medical exemption from Australia’s strict vaccination mandate was illegal, the saga is far from over.
Nonetheless, Djokovic’s refusal to get vaccinated has once again exposed his unorthodox beliefs and lifestyle.
The 34-year-old has often rejected modern medicine and has been a proponent of alternative medicine for recovery and treatment.
Djokovic is known for making trips to Visoko in Bosnia where he meets businessman Semir Osmanagic, who claims the ancient man-made structures in the area have healing powers.
The player is also a longtime student of Chervin Jafarieh, an anti-science wellness guru, who is believed to be behind Djokovic’s anti-vaccine stance. The wellness guru is against “militarism, urbanization, burning carbon, mining toxic metals and materials, manufacturing chemicals and biological poisons,” leading him to be skeptical about towards modern medicine.
Last year, Djokovic was ridiculed for discussing with Jafarieh on a public forum how he could alter the composition of water and food through the power of positive thinking.
“I have seen people and I know people who, through energy transformation, the power of prayer, the power of gratitude, manage to transform the most toxic food or the most polluted water into the most healing water,” Djokovic said during the interaction.
“Because water reacts and scientists have proven that water molecules react to our emotions to what is said.”
Jafarieh was selling $50 bottles of Advanced Brain Nutrients at the time.
In an interview with podcaster Jay Shetty, Djokovic described the importance of spiritual teachers and Reiki healers in his life, saying they have helped him and his wife “open our minds, even more, to understand how we can have internal conversations with ourselves”. ”.
Djokovic also attributes much of his success on the court to quitting gluten after a Serbian nutritionist, Dr. Igor Cetojevic, held a piece of white bread to his stomach as a test in 2010. He once said that he followed a strictly vegetable diet.
Djokovic’s path to greatness may have involved the quirks of alternative medicine and wellness gurus, but it all remained personal choices that no one cared about. Until the pandemic hit and an unfortunate 2020 Adria tour revealed the effects his beliefs had on others around him. History will remember him as one of the greatest athletes of the 21st century. Science will remember him as a Holocaust denier.