Novak Djokovic has earned something of a reputation for himself for mixing with the wrong crowds. His burgeoning relationship with self-annointed wellness guru Chervin Jafarieh, though, is probably the most damaging to date.
Lockdown has not been kind to the Serbian World No 1, who has stumbled from PR to disaster to PR disaster during the past few months.
From his wife Jelena doubling down on debunked 5G theories, to insisting that he would resist any attempts to vaccinate against the coronavirus, Djokovic’s reputation as a personality fit and capable of being the face of his sport has been thrown into serious doubt.
Novak Djokovic’s chats with Chevrin Jafarieh have caught the attention in the world of tennis
Djokovic and his wife Jelena have come in for plenty of criticism during the lockdown period
This opinion was only reinforced by his own aborted Adria tournament, during which he and his wife both contracted the virus, forcing the 33-year-old into a grovelling apology for flouting all sense of responsibility by hosting the unsanctioned event.
It is the latest run a series of questionable antics that has seen Djokovic alienate himself from a lot of his peers within the sport.
He has previously expressed that he holds a friendship with a tree, suggesting last year that he holds such a bond with a fig tree in Brazil that he climbs, something that very few people over the age of 10 years old would consider a viable relationship.
His daily routine raised just as many eyebrows when revealed in the New York Times last year, when it was revealed he would rise every day before sunrise with his family to take part in hugging and singing sessions, as well as group yoga.
Despite all this, it is time devoted to Jafarieh and his world views that may see Djokovic’s stock fall furthest.
The Serb was roundly condemned for holding an unsactioned tennis tournament this month
A real estate whizz who earned his original fortune through his company Blaqk Diamond, Jafarieh has now moved his expertise into the world of nutrients through his company Cymbiotika – ‘an innovative wellness brand inspiring everyday people to reclaim control of their life by achieving optimal health,’ according to one particularly gushing interview on Medium.
This brand, as well as Jafarieh’s world views, have been given plenty of air-time on Djokovic’s Instagram page, with the entrepreneur starring in at least three one-on-one live stories with the tennis star.
In rambling, long-winded talks that can last for over an hour, the pair share their own far-fetched views of the world, taking in beliefs such as how bending your body in certain ways can rid of toxins, or how using a trampoline can detoxify the body.
One of Jafarieh’s most animated arguments is for positive thought, and how this can change the molecular structure of water.
Djokovic has been spending a lot of time online chatting to wellness guru Chervin Jafarieh
Citing a Japanese scientist named Masaru Emoto, Jafarieh spoke convincingly of the mind’s ability to alter the chemical make up of liquid, turning polluted water into that which was perfectly distilled.
While he spoke with conviction, there was only one small problem. Emoto was not a scientist, but rather an author, whose musings have long been disproved.
Despite the clear and obvious evidence pointing to this, Djokovic continues to give Jafarieh, sat indoors, in his study with a tank top and sunglasses, the time of day on his social media sites.
Jafarieh made his money in real estate, before switching his focus to nutrition and wellness
The chats between the pair, which come complete with six-minute monologues about the power of positive thinking, can sometimes appear dripping in egoism, something that is mirrored by the company owner’s Instagram.
While many posted tributes to the late Kobe Bryant following his tragic death in a helicopter accident earlier this year, Jafarieh managed to align it with significant events in his own life – pointing out that the NBA star had died just 333 days after his own father, an extremely significant number which proved to mena a great deal to the health guru, if little to anyone else.
It is not only Djokovic who has been roped in to Jafarieh’s way of thinking. He has also been snapped catching up with Mike Tyson, who at the age of 53 is seriously considering a return to the boxing ring.
Mike Tyson is another sporting celebrity who has spent time and spoken with Jafarieh
It should perhaps come as little surprise that Djokovic is willing to align himself with such a character, with the Serbian having held links previously with other questionable persons of influence.
His former mentor Pepe Imaz held similarly bizarre beliefs and introduced Djokovic to the supposed importance of telekinesis, as well as the benefits of long hugs.
It would be of benefit to Djokovic to consider long and hard, his thought process behind some of the relationships he holds in the public eye.