Tokyo 2020 playbook threatens disqualification for offending athletes

Athletes competing at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games could face expulsion from the rescheduled event if found to be violating COVID-19 regulations across the duration of the Games.

According to the third edition of the Olympic playbook, released on 15 June by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee (TOC), there could be financial sanctions for athletes who breach the rules set out in the publication.

“There may be consequences imposed upon you in the event of a breach of these measures or instructions, such as being subject to strict administrative measures including procedures for revocation of your permit of stay in Japan,” the playbook detailed.

The third edition of the playbook also stated that athletes will be screened for the coronavirus daily, and will have to submit saliva samples at either 9am or 6pm intervals through liaison officers of the national Olympic committees.

“We expect you to play by the rules, but if you don’t, there will be sanctions that could be coming your way,” said Pierre Ducrey, Olympic Games Operations Director at the IOC, at a virtual news conference.

The Olympic playbooks are issued as a guide to stakeholders, advising those visiting Japan about how to stay safe during their journey, outlining the steps taken to prevent the spread of the virus, with public opposition rising against the upcoming Games.

Earlier versions of the playbooks released in February and updated later in April banned athletes from singing or chanting, and advised that they should wear masks at all times.

“The playbooks are the result of over a year’s close collaboration with leading scientific experts and institutions, sports organisations and our partners in Japan,” added IOC Olympic Games Executive Director, Christophe Dubi. “Now everyone knows the rules. It is crucial that the measures outlined in the playbooks are respected in order to make the Games safe and secure for all Games participants, and the people of Japan.”

Last month, the TOC reiterated that no board members support the cancellation of the upcoming Olympic Games, despite public opposition.

Japan is currently struggling to contain the coronavirus as the Indian variant continues to spread across the country, with the Games set to commence on 23 July.

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