After world number 1 tennis player Novak Djokovic, Kelly Slater could be the next big name in sports to be refused the right to compete in Australia.

Kelly Slater could be the next big name in sports to be refused the right to compete in Australia, with the federal health minister saying that the 11-time champion would not be allowed into the country if he is not vaccinated against COVID-19.

Slater, who has not publicly disclosed his COVID-19 vaccination status, has aired some controversial views on COVID-19 vaccines, including an Instagram comment in October that claimed he knew “more about being healthy than 99 percent of doctors.”

The US tour veteran, who has no medical qualifications, has previously said that he is not anti-vaccine, but opposed to making vaccination mandatory.

Slater has also been critical of the visa process that ended with the deportation of tennis world No. 1 Novak Djokovic.

The best surfers in the world are scheduled to arrive in Australia for back-to-back World Surf League events at Victoria’s Bells Beach and Western Australia’s Margaret River in March and April.

“I think we’ve been pretty clear with the Novak Djokovic case of no vax, no play,” Australian Minister for Health and Aged Care Greg 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.”

Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews said that he hoped there would be no repeat of the saga that overshadowed the buildup to the Australian Open and left Djokovic unable to defend his title at Melbourne Park.

“It’s important there is clarity from the commonwealth government about who gets in and who doesn’t,” Andrews said yesterday. “That is a good thing. Least you don’t have a soap opera drama that wastes everybody’s time.”

The Australian Federal Court yesterday dismissed Djokovic’s challenge to his visa cancelation, saying that Australian Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs Alex Hawke, who revoked it, reasonably believed the tennis star might be a risk to the community.

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