IOA calls Tokyo Olympic Rules for Covid-hit nations “unfair”, says ‘athletes would suffer loss’

New Delhi: India’s Olympic body has slammed “unfair” strict rules imposed by the Japanese government on athletes from several Covid-hit nations for the Tokyo Games that are scheduled to begin next month. 

In new protocols, Tokyo 2020 organisers on Monday announced that athletes will be daily tested for a week before they depart for Japan and will be refrained from “coming into contact with other teams for three days after they arrive in Japan”.

Now, Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has said that the new rules will cause Indian athletes three days loss of training. 

“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 released on Saturday.

“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 have 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 NOCs (National Olympic Committees) are present all the time,” the statement added.

Where can athletes train? it asked, because “practice/training areas are never empty and athletes and officials of other NOCs are present all the time.”

Meanwhile, Tokyo Olympic Organisers have said that they have received a letter from IOA. 

“For participants from areas such as India that have seen significant impact from variants, it is necessary that they follow more stringent rules than those outlined in the (athletes) Playbook, and are similar to the existing border control measures,” they said.

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Under the new protocols, 11 countries including India, UK and Pakistan would be affected. 

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