Tokyo Olympics 2020 Playbook warns athletes: Obey Covid rules or face Games exit

The International Olympics Committee has released a playbook for athletes and guests attending the pandemic-delayed Games and provides for harsh punishment like disqualification and fines for those who do not follow the Covid-19 protocols in its letter and spirit.

The 70-page third version of the Tokyo 2020 playbooks was published on Tuesday, which lays down guidelines for contingents from before they arrive in Japan till the time they depart from Tokyo.

The rules have been framed by the International Olympic Committee, the International Paralympic Committee and the Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 in coordination with the Japanese government.

The punishment for violating the guidelines ranges from the temporary or permanent withdrawal of athletes and guests accreditation to disqualification to financial sanctions.

However, the Games organisers have confirmed that anyone who is assured of the lowest medal in any sporting event but tests Covid-19 positive will not be disqualified. Instead, they will still pick up a medal if they are entitled to.

Confirming this, IOC Sports Director Kit McConnell said that if in a final event an athlete were to receive a medal but could not due to a Covid positive test result, he or she will receive the minimum level of medal they would have received.

The guidelines remind the athletes and guests that their journey does not begin at the airport. In fact, they would need to take two Covid-19 tests on two separate days within 96 hours of the departure of their flight to Japan. The postponed Olympics will kick off on July 23.

The other key protocols mentioned in the playbook include:

  • Tokyo Olympic Village residents, athletes, team officials, and other NOC/NPC accredited personnel will undergo daily tests for Coronavirus.
  • Athletes, team officials, and other NOC/NPC accredited personnel not residing in Tokyo will undergo daily tests for Coronavirus.
  • Media personnel and marketing Partners will undergo Covid-19 tests every four days.
  • Athletes and team officials will have to wear a face mask at all times, except when eating and drinking.
  • Athletes and team officials will disinfect their hands regularly when entering and leaving, and before taking food and eating, using hand sanitisers provided.
  • When waiting in line, athletes keep at least two metres distance, and team officials keep at least one-metre distance from the person in front, as indicated by floor markings.
  • All stakeholders must download health reporting application ‘Online Checking and Health report App’ (OCHA) and Japan’s smartphone Contact Confirming Application (COCOA) and familiarise themselves with any other technology solutions which may be used to support COVID-19 countermeasures