(Reuters)American surfing great Kelly Slater will not be allowed to compete in upcoming events in Australia if he doesn't get vaccinated against Covid-19, Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said on Thursday.
Kelly Slater can't compete in Australia without vaccination, says health minister
Eleven-time world champion Slater, who hasn't revealed his vaccination status, defended tennis world No. 1 Novak Djokovic after the unvaccinated Serbian was detained and later deported by authorities ahead of the Australian Open.
Two World Surf League (WSL) championship events are scheduled for Victoria and Western Australia in April and May. It remains unclear whether Slater, 49, will take part.
"I think we've been pretty clear with the Novak Djokovic case of no vax, no play," Hunt told Australian broadcaster Channel 9.
"It's a pretty simple message, doesn't matter what sport, we're even-handed. I hope he (Slater) gets vaccinated and I hope he competes."
The WSL has not mandated vaccines for competitors but has encouraged them to take the jab, warning they may face "significant" challenges if they choose not to.