Athletes cop sex ban in new guidelines for Tokyo Olympics

Andrew Reid
·3-min read
Pictured here, Great Britain's Jason Kenny and Laura Trott share a kiss at the 2016 Rio Games.
Moments like this between Great Britain's Jason Kenny and Laura Trott are likely to be outlawed at the Tokyo Games. Pic: Getty

Olympic athletes in Tokyo are set to be banned from physical contact, with kissing, hugging and high-fiving among a list of 'do nots' being implemented by officials to ensure the Games are as safe as possible.

Tokyo Games organisers unveiled the first of a series of "playbooks" for the Olympics, postponed due to the global Covid-19 crisis.

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The playbooks are aimed at building confidence that the Games can go ahead even if the pandemic is not under control before the opening ceremony on July 23.

Singing and chanting are also likely to be outlawed, with anyone flouting the safety guidelines facing the prospect of being kicked out.

The first of the guides is aimed at sports officials, with versions for athletes, fans, media and others to follow in the coming weeks.

"We have learned a lot from the best practices of other events," said Olympic Games Executive Director Christophe Dubi of the International Olympic Committee.

"It is the mantra of all of us - the Games have to be safe, for each stakeholder group, for each participant. It's a question of responsibility."

Officials will be subject to a series of rules during their stay in Japan, including mask-wearing, complying with contact tracing and staying within designated areas.

They will have to present a detailed itinerary of their planned movements for their first 14 days in Japan and stick closely to it on arrival.

And they will have to monitor and record their health for two weeks before going to Tokyo.

Details on rules for athletes are still being finalised, but officials said they would be tested for Covid-19 at least every four days, and would be tested before leaving their country and again on arrival in Japan.

A smartphone app will be in operation across Tokyo, with athletes and officials required to monitor their health daily for 14 days before travelling to Japan.

All those flying into Tokyo with have to undergo a PRC nose and throat test within 72 hours of flying and will be tested again upon arrival.

Anyone who tests positive must “immediately begin self-isolation in line with local rules”.

The strict rules mean the normal hotbed of activity at the athletes' villages will have to be kept under wraps, with sexual activity among competitors to be seriously frowned upon.

The first guide warns that rule breakers will face "consequences that may have an impact on participation" at the Games, with "repeated or serious failures" potentially leading to offenders being kicked out.

Dire consequences for rule breakers

"These Games in many respects will be different," said Olympic Games Operations Director Pierre Ducrey at the IOC.

"There will be a number of constraints and conditions that the participants will have to respect and follow, which will have an impact on their experience, particularly when it comes to social aspects," he told reporters at a press conference presenting the rule book.

Doubts about the Games have grown as countries have been forced to re-enter lockdowns, with large parts of Japan currently under a state of emergency.

Hockeyroos players are seen here hugging at the Rio Games in 2016.
Things like hugging and high-fiving are set to be banned at the Tokyo Games. Pic: Getty

Japan's government approved a month-long extension of its state of emergency on Tuesday, with measures now running through March 7 in parts of the country.

Tighter border restrictions imposed after infections surged have already forced the postponement of some sporting fixtures in Japan, including this year's first Olympic test event, an artistic swimming qualifier that was scheduled for March.

The nationwide Olympic torch relay is still due to begin on March 25.

Tokyo 2020 president Yoshiro Mori said Tuesday that the Games would go ahead this summer "however the coronavirus evolves", brushing aside doubts about the event.

with agencies

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