Novak Djokovic has a majority stake in a Danish biotechnology firm attempting to develop a treatment for Covid-19, it has emerged.
The world number one is currently back in Belgrade after he was deported from Australia after failing to gain a visa to enter the country for the Australian Open.
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QuantBioRes boss Ivan Loncarevic has revealed that the tennis player’s acquisition of the 80 per cent stake was made in June 2020 but declined to say how much it was.
The company is developing a peptide, which inhibits the coronavirus from infecting the human cell, and expects to launch clinical trials in Britain this summer, according to Loncarevic, who stressed the firm was working on a treatment, not a vaccine.
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The CEO said the company had about a dozen researchers working in Denmark, Australia and Slovenia. According to the Danish company register, Djokovic and his wife Jelena own 40.8% and 39.2% of the company, respectively.
Djokovic has enjoyed phenomenal success yet time may not be on the world number one’s side in his quest to be viewed as the greatest player is history, as he advances deeper into his 30s.
He had desperately hoped to play in Australian Open this month with his sights firmly set on netting a 21st grand slam title, which would move him above archrivals Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal.
But following his troubles in Australia a frustrated Djokovic now risks being frozen out elsewhere with rules on travellers who are unvaccinated tightening in the third year of the pandemic and some tournaments reconsidering exemptions.
The most immediate concern is the next grand slam – the French Open in May where Nadal has already amassed a staggering 13 titles – after the country’s sports ministry said on Monday there would be no exemption from a new vaccine pass law.
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