FACT CHECK: Did This BBC Personality Call Novak Djokovic A ‘Threat To Health Services’?

Elias Atienza | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook claims BBC Northern Ireland radio presenter Stephen Nolan called tennis player Novak Djokovic a “threat to health services” after Djokovic was deported from Australia.

Verdict: False

There is no evidence Nolan made the remark. Nolan denied doing so via Twitter and his radio show.

Fact Check:

Djokovic was deported Jan. 16 from Australia following a legal battle over the cancellation of his visa, according to BBC News. The legal battle stemmed from his COVID-19 vaccination status, the outlet reported.

Social media users later began sharing an image of Nolan, comparing it with a photo of Djokovic during a tennis match. The post claims Nolan had labeled the tennis player a “threat to health services.” (RELATED: Does This Video Show Tennis Players Federer And Nadal Mocking Djokovic?)

Check Your Fact could not find any credible evidence that Nolan made the comment about Djokovic. The presenter has not made such a comment on his Twitter or Facebook. None of the descriptions of episodes for his radio show, “The Nolan Show,” mention Djokovic or his situation in Australia.

The left-hand image featured in the Facebook post is of Nolan, but was taken as part of an article of his weight loss journey in 2019, as reported by Hello Magazine.

Nolan addressed the viral claim via Twitter, saying Jan. 8 that he was targeted by “anti-vax, conspiracy theory space cadets.”

“Some anti vax, conspiracy theory space cadets targeting me this weekend from all over the world, criticising a show they said I did about Novak Djokovic. Except I haven’t ever done such a show. These people are insane & seem to have a lot of time on their hands. Loopers,” Nolan tweeted.

Nolan further addressed the claim on his radio show Jan. 10, when he denied ever making the remark, according to the Belfast Telegraph. He stated that the claim originated from some “loopy-loo” Twitter user, according to the outlet.

“The point is they made this up,” Nolan said during his show. “I’ve never spoken about Novak Djokovic, never.”

Elias Atienza

Fact Check Reporter
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