Tokyo Olympics: IOC urges athletes to observe rules amid mask uncertainty

10 months ago | 54

THE International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Sunday urged athletes to observe coronavirus rules on the podium after swimmers were seen maskless and hugging following the women’s 4x100m relay and other events. “We will urge and ask everyone to obey the rules, whatever stakeholder you are,” IOC spokesperson Mark Adams said. “It is not a nice-to-have, it is a must-have, both for the sports and for everyone involved. “We understand there is excitement and we feel for the athletes, but unfortunately we have had to make the rules stricter.” Australia, Canada and the US were seen unmasked as they attended the relay podium ceremony. The victorious Aussies raised eyebrows by posing closely together for a picture after bettering their own world record. But the Australian Olympic Committee insisted the swimmers, which included Campbell sisters Bronte and Cate, had done “nothing wrong.” “[The] IOC indicates there’s a new policy that allows for athletes to take masks off for 30 seconds at the podium for photographs,” local media quoted them as saying. “Then masks go back on. “Our athletes were simply following the direction of the official at the podium, who holds up a sign saying masks off briefly for the photographs. “That’s what our girls did. IOC has confirmed this and there’s nothing wrong with athletes doing this.” Organisers on Sunday reported 10 new coronavirus cases at the Games, bringing the total number of Olympic-related infections since July 1 to 132. The number included two athletes, one of whom was a Dutch rower. On Saturday the Netherlands said 21-year-old rower Finn Florijn had tested positive. Florijn is the son of 1988 Olympic champion Ronald Florijn and finished fourth of six in his heat on Friday. The Tokyo area is under a fourth coronavirus state of emergency for the duration of the Olympics.(dpa/NAN) – July 25, 2021 @ 16:01 GMT |

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