IOC To Require Olympics Athletes To Sign “Standard Practice” COVID Waiver

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.

The issue came up when IOC President Thomas Bach took questions to close a two-day online conference, hosted by the official Olympic commission representing athletes.

“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.

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6 months ago

Classic IOC… for some of us who were expecting to start getting paid soon, that seems like a big step towards the opposite direction.

Someone call Matt Biondi!!

Troll Longhorn
Reply to  Olympian
6 months ago

How is this denying athletes pay? Were they counting on money from lawsuits?

Reply to  Troll Longhorn
6 months ago

Not directly but the attitude of waiving responsibility instead of taking care of those who are the core of the “show”

Great opportunity for the IOC to prove they care about the athletes, but no, if you get sick they will literally watch you die with their arms crossed.

Troll Longhorn
6 months ago

No problem with this.

6 months ago

Yes, and why not quarantine and ferry foreign spectators who have also signed said waiver and allow 50% attendance, including vaccinated Japanese locals?

6 months ago

Have all the USA athletes been vaccinated??

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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