Sports

Australian firm fires employee for leak of TV anchors' Djokovic rant

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Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic practices at Melbourne Park as questions remain over the legal battle regarding his visa to play in the Australian Open in Melbourne, Australia, January 13, 2022. REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake

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Jan 14 (Reuters) - An Australia-based media technology company has fired an employee accused of leaking a video of two television presenters privately criticising tennis player Novak Djokovic, whose Australian visa was cancelled on Friday.

Ai-Media Technologies (AIM.AX), which provides captioning and transcription services, did not identify the employee.

The expletive-laden video, leaked this week, showed anchors at Seven West Media's (SWM.AX) 7NEWS discussing Djokovic's COVID-19 status and visa application in an off-air conversation, condemning him as being deceptive. read more

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The video appears to have been recorded without the news presenters' knowledge and was widely viewed on social media, with many people voicing support for the anchors. Seven also defended the presenters, saying the act of recording the video broke state laws.

"Ai-Media has identified that an employee working remotely due to the COVID-19 outbreak was responsible for the unauthorised distribution of the content," the company said in a statement.

"The person is no longer employed by Ai-Media," the company confirmed in an email to Reuters.

There was no immediate comment from the employee.

Cancelling Djokovic's visa on Friday, the Australian government said the world number one - who has not been vaccinated for COVID- 19 -- may pose a health risk. read more

Djokovic arrived in Australia last week, chasing his 21st Grand Slam title at next week's Australian Open. He was held in immigration detention until a judge on Monday quashed a decision by the federal government to revoke his visa, but the Australian government revoked it for a second time on Friday.

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Reporting by Shashwat Awasthi; Editing by Robert Birsel and Timothy Heritage

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