The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Tokyo 2020 organizers will require all athletes competing at this summer’s Olympic Games to sign a waiver and assume all risk related to COVID-19.
Athletes were informed by the IOC on May 27, and were told that it was “standard practice” for major sporting events.
“I know this is a concern for a number of you,” Bach said, before asking IOC chief operating officer Lana Haddad to give what he called “an expert’s answer.”
The waiver is included in the traditional entry form Olympic athletes must sign, but was “updated to include COVID-19 related consideration,” Haddad said.
“This is really to provide transparency and ensure the informed consent from the games participants,” she explained. “The entry forms are consistent with the standard practice of all other big event organizers. And the forms are within the framework of the law, if I may add.”
In the “Playbook” for Athletes and Officials, put together by the IOC, IPC and the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee, the introduction includes the following:
“Despite all care taken, risks and impacts may not be fully eliminated, and therefore you agree to attend the Olympic and Paralympic Games at your own risk.”
Certain athlete groups have argued that too much risk is being placed on the athletes set to take part in the Games, with approximately 11,000 athletes and thousands of additional coaches, officials, media and support workers expected to be in Tokyo next month.
The IOC and the Japanese government have been steadfast in assuring that the Games will be safe and secure.
Japan is currently in a state of emergency, which has recently been extended until at least June 20, with fewer than 5 percent of the population vaccinated.
The IOC has reportedly said that at least 80 percent of those attending the Games will be vaccinated.