Sports Sports minister Richard Colbeck casts doubt on likelihood of Kelly Slater getting into Australia if not vaccinated

Sports Sports minister Richard Colbeck casts doubt on likelihood of Kelly Slater getting into Australia if not vaccinated

Sports

The federal Sports Minister Richard Colbeck has cast doubt over whether surfing legend Kelly Slater will be allowed into Australia for the World Surf League championship events taking place in Victoria and Western Australia.

Minster Colbeck said he “didn’t like the chances” of 11-time world champion Slater getting into the country if he is not vaccinated against COVID-19 ahead of the championship.

In the video above, Kelly Slater is warned over Australia’s vaccination rules

The World Surf League has warned competitors who are unvaccinated will be barred from certain countries.

Slater, along with current world No.1 Gabriel Medina, are both yet to reveal their vaccination status ahead of a bumper Championship Tour, which includes stops at the Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach and Margaret River Pro in Australia in April.

It comes after the decision was made to deport tennis world No.1 Novak Djokovic from Australia ahead of the Australian Open.

sports Eleven-time world surfing champion Kelly Slater. File image.
Eleven-time world surfing champion Kelly Slater. File image. Credit: Tony Heff/World Surf League/Getty Images

Slater later defended the tennis star in a social media post stating there is ‘so much brainwashed hatred in people’s hearts regardless of vax status’.

In response to these comments, Mr Colbeck said like anyone else the surfing legend would have to apply for a medical exemption and be able to prove that exemption upon arrival.

As The Age reported, Mr Colbeck said Slater had “no chance of getting into the country without the vaccine”.

sports US surfer Kelly Slater surfs during his heat in the Sydney Surf Pro, at Manly in Sydney, Wednesday, March 20, 2019.
US surfer Kelly Slater surfs during his heat in the Sydney Surf Pro, at Manly in Sydney, Wednesday, March 20, 2019. Credit: DAN HIMBRECHTS/AAPIMAGE

“I reckon he knows the rules. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a surfer, or a tennis player, a tourist or anyone else, those are the rules,” Mr Colbeck told the newspaper.

“They apply to everyone.

“I don’t like the chances of him competing in Victoria, and I’d hate to think of what the chances were of him competing in Western Australia.”

7NEWS.com.au has contacted Mr Colbeck for further comment.

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