Athletes participating in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games could face expulsion if they break the Covid-19 measures aimed at containing the spread of the virus in Japan.
In the third version of the ‘playbook’, which outlines safety measures participants and visitors need to take for the Games to pass safely, organisers warned that athletes who breach the rules could face losing their permit to stay in Japan.
“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 read.
It added that these consequences may be imposed by the Japanese authorities if necessary and also threatened financial sanctions and disqualification from events.
Published by the International Olympic Committee today (Tuesday), other punishments for failing to comply with the countermeasures include warnings or temporary or permanent withdrawal of accreditation for coaches and officials.
Previously, Christophe Dubi, executive director of the Olympic Games, said that a disciplinary commission had been set up in the event of an athlete failing to respect the rules in the playbook.
The latest version shows that organisers are willing to take a tough approach on athletes, coaches and officials who do not abide by the rules.
The first edition was published in February was written jointly by the IOC, the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee and the International Paralympic Committee. A second edition was published in April.
“Non-respect of the rules contained in this playbook may expose you to consequences that may have an impact on your participation in the Olympic and Paralympic Games, your access to Games venues and, in some cases, on your participation in competitions,” the IOC said.
“Failure to comply with these rules, such as refusal to take a test, going to destinations not included in your activity plan or intentionally disrespecting mask wearing or physical distancing measures, may result in disciplinary consequences.”
Roughly 3,000 Covid-19 Liaison Officers, who have been appointed by every National Olympic Committee, will be responsible for managing the implementation of the countermeasures.
While being vaccinated is not a requirement laid out in the latest playbook, the IOC said that over 80 per cent of residents in the Olympic and Paralympic Village will be vaccinated, adding that between 70-80 per cent of the media will also be vaccinated.
Public animosity toward the Games remains in Japan, despite the improvement of the vaccination programme in recent weeks. Earlier this week, the G7 member nations voiced their support for Japan’s hosting of this summer’s Olympics in Tokyo.
Speaking at the 23rd Annual Credit Suisse Communications Conference, NBCUniversal chief executive Jeff Shell said the event could become the most profitable Olympics in the network’s history, despite the 12-month postponement.
Shell’s comments arrived just days after NBC Sports detailed plans for 7,000 hours of domestic media coverage from Tokyo 2020, a company-record level of programming representing what the network touted as the “biggest media event ever”.
Early last year, and prior to the start of the pandemic, NBC Sports also said it sold $1.25bn (€1.03bn) in US ad sales for Tokyo 2020.