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Track and Field
Saturday, February 06, 2021
Athletes Urged to Find Other Ways to Celebrate

Athletes have been explicitly told to tone down their celebrations at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games under a series of strict rules designed to mitigate the risks posed on the event by COVID-19.

In the "playbook" for athletes and team officials, seen by insidethegames prior to its publication next week, competitors have been urged to "find other ways to celebrate" during the Games.

How this rule will be applied to victory ceremonies has not yet been confirmed.

Athletes who return a positive coronavirus test "will not be able to compete", as expected, and they could be placed into isolation at a Government-approved facility away from the Tokyo 2020 venues.

Those who come into "close contact" with someone who tests positive for COVID-19 are set to only be cleared to compete once they themselves have registered a negative test.

They have been told to get tested immediately after being notified by the health reporting app or if called to do so by their COVID-19 liaison officer.

insidethegames understands measures are being considered to prevent false positives from stopping an athlete from taking part in their event, including the possibility of only barring those with a defined number of positives from competing.

As in other playbooks released this week, athletes who have been warned repeated violations of the rules - which will apply to everyone, regardless of whether they have been vaccinated or not - could see them excluded from the Games.

Athletes who attend a pre-Games training camp will be tested again for COVID-19 three days before they arrive at the Village and could be prevented from entering it if they are positive.

As confirmed by International Olympic Committee (IOC) vice-president John Coates last week, athletes will be tested at least every four days.

"You will either be required to continue isolating or be hospitalized," the playbook states for athletes and team officials who return a positive test.

"You will not be allowed to compete."

Tests will be carried out at the dedicated facility inside the Olympic and Paralympic Village "or at designated facilities for athletes staying in satellite villages (or Para cycling accommodation)", the playbook states.

Results will be "processed in a timely and efficient manner, and interpreted taking into account individual health circumstances".

A dedicated Results Advisory Expert Group (REAG) will be set up to establish "specific protocols for interpretation of results", the playbook states.

The document lacks the concrete details that athletes may have been hoping for, but the IOC, the International Paralympic Committee and Tokyo 2020 have promised to release more information in the April update to the playbook.
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