COVID-19 positives to be replaced by next best-placed competitor in Olympics athletics event

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The regulations developed by the International Olympic Committee and the international federations said the athletes unable to compete due to COVID-19 reasons will not be disqualified and will be marked as DNS (Did Not Start).

“As track and field events are held over multiple days, in case of an athlete being unable to compete because of a positive COVID-19 case, in track events the best next-best placed athletes from the previous round will be brought forward to replace that athlete in the next phase,” the regulations said.

“For the field events where possible athletes unable to compete in the final will be replaced with the next best placed athlete.”

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These rules will, however, not be applied in 10,000m race, marathon and race walk events which are either direct final events or single races. In these cases, the races will happen with one athlete less.

“The exception is for the 10,000m which is a direct final and takes place as a single race and therefore the results of the daily COVID-19 test will determine if an athlete can start, otherwise the event will go ahead with one less athlete.

“The minimum level of results of the athlete with a positive COVID-19 test will be recognised.”

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The SSRs are contingency plans that will be activated in case a confirmed case appears so that all stakeholders are ready to implement these and not impact the athletes or delay the competition.

“The implementation is subject to the individual circumstances of each situation and in particular the timing at which the COVID-19 cases are confirmed relative to the start of the respective competition impacted, as well as the applicable International Federation’s rules and regulations.”

India has named a 26-member athletics team for the Olympics which opens on July 23. The athletics competition will be held from July 30 to August 8. Avinash Sable (men’s 3000m steeplechase round 1), Dutee Chand (women’s 100m round 1) and men’s 4x400m relay (round 1) will feature on the first day of athletics competition.

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