Since being deported from Australia last week, men's tennis champion Novak Djokovic has returned to Belgrade, where he lives with his family.
Having inadvertently (or not) become the locus of the international debate about mandatory vaccinations, Reuters reported that Djokovic and his wife hold a combined 80% stake in Danish biotech firm QuantBioRes, which is working on developing a cure for SARS-CoV-2.
QuantBioRes boss Ivan Loncarevic has described himself as an entrepreneur, he reportedly said the tennis player's acquisition of the 80% stake was made in June 2020, but declined to say how much Djokovic shelled out for his stake.
The firm 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 QuantBioRes, respectively.
Copenhagen-based QuantBioRes is aiming to develop a ‘peptide’ treatment against Covid-19 which would inhibit the virus from infecting human cells. Later this year, the company expects to launch clinical trials in the UK; it has around a dozen researchers working in Denmark, Australia, and Slovenia, Loncarevic explained.
Djokovic has enjoyed phenomenal success - Forbes listed Djoko as one of the world's top-50 highest paid athletes for 2021, tabulating his on-court earnings at $4.5MM. That number was dwarfed by the $30MM he supposedly earned off the court. His total career earnings are believed to be around €150MM ($170MM).
Loncarevic stressed that the peptide treatment is a therapeutic designed to treat COVID; it's not a vaccine.
But as Djokovic moves deeper into his 30s, his quest to finally cement his position as the world's greatest (male) tennis player - breaking his tie with Swiss legend Roger Federer - is running out of time.
Djoko was hoping to play in the Australian Open and win, which would have netted him his 21st grand slam title, breaking his tie with Federer for most "grand slam" titles" won by a single (male) player.
Looking beyond February, Djoko's most immediate concern is the next grand slam tournament - the French Open in May.
Unfortunately, the French sports ministry has already declared that there will be no exemptions to France's new vaccine law.