Tokyo 2020: IOA slams Japan for rules on COVID-19 hit countries
Tokyo 2020 organisers said that additional measures will be used to reduce infection risks from 11 countries, including India, Pakistan and UK that have seen significant surge in COVID-19 cases recently.
The protocols will involve daily testing of athletes for a week before they depart for Japan and for them to refrain from coming into contact with other teams for three days after they arrive in the country.
The IOA said the rules would deprive athletes three crucial training days.
“Athletes are allowed to arrive in the Games Village only five days before their event,” IOA president Narinder Batra and secretary Rajeev Mehta said in a joint statement.
“Now three days will be wasted, this is the time the athletes need to be moving towards their mode to peak… highly unfair for Indian athletes, who’ve worked hard for five years, to be discriminated against just five days before the Olympics.”
“Where and when will the athletes have their breakfast, lunch, dinner during these three days, as everyone has food in the Games Village food hall where all athletes and officials of other National Olympic Committees are present all the time,” the statement added.
The Tokyo 2020 organisers confirmed to AFP news agency that they had received a complaint from IOA.
“For participants from areas such as India that’ve seen significant impact from COVID-19 variants, it’s necessary that they follow more stringent rules than those outlined in the Athletes Playbook, and are similar to the existing border control measures,” they added.
India has eased some lockdown restrictions in recent weeks as it emerges from a brutal surge in infections and deaths in April and May.
SAI allows Neeraj, Vinesh Phogat to continue training in Europe ahead of Tokyo
Some athletes, including javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra and wrestler Vinesh Phogat, are training abroad and will travel to Tokyo from their respective locations.
The International Olympic Committee said in late May that six countries — Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka — had pledged to fully vaccinated their delegations and conduct additional testing.
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