— Published 1 June 2023

Kosovo calls on IOC to sanction Djokovic

A cumbersome dossier for the IOC. The Kosovo Olympic Committee has announced that it has asked the IOC to open disciplinary proceedings against Novak Djokovic. At issue was his political stance following his victory over American Aleksandar Kovacevic in the first round of the French Open tennis tournament at Roland-Garros on Monday May 29. At the end of the match, the Serbian player wrote in felt-tip pen on the TV camera: “Kosovo is the heart of Serbia. Stop the violence” (photo above). A spokesman for the Kosovar Olympic Committee, Kushtrim Krasniqi, explained to AFP: “Despite the fact that Novak Djokovic is one of the best tennis players in the world, such behavior (…) cannot be tolerated as it sets a dangerous precedent that sport can be used as a platform for political messages, agendas and propaganda.” In a letter to the IOC, the Kosovan Olympic body accuses Novak Djokovic, whose father was born in Kosovo, of stirring up political tensions. It considers that the world number 3 “has violated the principles of sport, the fundamental principles of the IOC Charter in terms of political neutrality.