Michael Andrew Under Review By USOPC For Not Wearing Mask In Mixed Zone

The United States Olympic Paralympic Committee (USOPC) responded to photos of Michael Andrew not wearing a mask in the mixed zone, saying it was a violation of COVID mitigation protocol, they will be “reviewing this matter,” and “will take action as needed.

Update: As of 20 minutes before the start of Friday’s evening prelims session, the USOPC told USA Today they have reminded Andrew of “the Games policy and established COVID mitigation protocols” and he is allowed to take off his mask during interviews.

USA Today reporter Christine Brennan shared photos of Andrew not wearing a mask in the mixed zone after his 200 IM final Friday morning on social media. The mixed zone (shown below) is a space where media can interview the athletes after races.

The USOPC reportedly responded to USA Today: “Not wearing a mask is a violation of the covid mitigation protocols put in place by both the USOPC and TOCOG (the Tokyo Olympic organizers) – protocols we have been adamant in following as a delegation.

“We are currently reviewing this matter with the National Governing Body and will take action as needed.”

While Andrew is not the only swimmer to be seen without his mask fully on in the mixed zone, he has been open about his decision not to get the COVID-19 vaccine. “I didn’t want to put anything in my body that I didn’t know how I would potentially react to,” he told media over Zoom at the U.S. Olympic Trials Wave II.

“In the training cycle, especially leading up to trials, I didn’t want to risk any days out. There were periods where you take a vaccine, you have to deal with some days off.”

Andrew told USA Today why he was not wearing his mask in the mixed zone, saying “For me it’s pretty hard to breath in after kind of sacrificing my body in the water so I feel like my health is a little more tied to being able to breath than protecting what’s coming out of my mouth.”

“I think it’s great that there’s procedures but at the end of the day, all of us here have been under quarantine and in the same testing protocol so there’s a level of safety (that’s) comfortable when we’re racing.”

Friday evening’s prelims session includes Andrew’s third individual event of the Olympics: the 50 free. He has already swum the 100 breast and 200 IM.

At the time when Andrew explained his decision to go to Tokyo unvaccinated,  men’s U.S. Olympic head coach Dave Durden said the attitudes and actions of the athletes and staff would be what mattered in Tokyo “regardless of vaccinations or not vaccinated.”

He told media, “All of our athletes, in the community that we’re in right now, we’re being very conscious being very safe with how we’re handling our teams, how we’re going from place to place, how we’re operating in our training camp environment, how we are effectively bubbling ourselves…

“… And that’s probably the more important piece of this. Regardless of vaccinations or not vaccinated, it’s what our attitudes and actions are.”

SwimSwam has reached out to Andrew but he has not responded yet.

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Dylan
1 month ago

The important stuff right here, thank you Christine Brennan.

Comet
Reply to  Dylan
1 month ago

Christine is a typical hack

Awsi Dooger
Reply to  Dylan
1 month ago

Christine Brennan did her job in tremendous fashion. Once again the crew petrified of participation trophies is laughably scared to participate in review of their actions and words. Michael Andrew and Sam Kendricks on the same day. It doesn’t get more predictable or pathetic than that. BTW, has Andrew finished his 50 freestyle leg yet? I’m worried the Closing Ceremony might have to be delayed

Joel Lin
Reply to  Awsi Dooger
1 month ago

Two things being lost here, neither of which are a direct comment aimed at MA:

  1. the US delegation, all other athletes, coaches, staffers & the journalists covering these Olympics guests in the country of Japan. The pandemic is hitting hard in that country now. These are the rules & it isn’t just that rules have consequences. Following the rules shows a common decency & good public civics as guests.
  2. the old saying that a politician should never let his/her guard down because doing so will alienate half the voters travels well here. Olympic athletes have a particular opportunity & need to earn endorsements money to keep training, to stay in the sport. MA has some hay in the
… Read more »

Coach Tom
Reply to  Awsi Dooger
1 month ago

Read a bit more of Christine’s work. She may have dug up a ‘scoop’ here (a real big one, lol) but she is an incessantly bitter person who seems to hate athletes despite writing about sports for a living.

She also clearly holds a lot of personal disdain for MA and his family which she has let seep into her reporting about him since before the games even started.

Last edited 1 month ago by Coach Tom
anonymous
Reply to  Coach Tom
1 month ago

Yes she seems to not be an unbiased reporter

Remember Me?
Reply to  Awsi Dooger
1 month ago

In case you missed it, the review of his actions found no fault

Wolfgang Cable
Reply to  Awsi Dooger
1 month ago

He still beat more people than Simone Biles did today lol

Christine
1 month ago

Well there’s the excuse to kick him off the relays… 😉😉

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Christine
1 month ago

I think he already has given them plenty of reason in the pool this week.

How much can CD bench???
Reply to  Christine
1 month ago

Fink Medley Relay!

Facts
1 month ago

He’s taking L after L today what a shame

college swimmer
1 month ago

i guess this is why we listen to scientists and doctors, not corrupt politicians

Tommy Schmitt
1 month ago

He sacrificed his body in the 200 IM ???

Togger
Reply to  Tommy Schmitt
1 month ago

He sacrificed my money in the 200 IM. Shocking bet.

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Togger
1 month ago

He sacrificed his money, too. Endorsements are dead between his performance and his COVID stance. Unless he sells pillows.

Backstrokebro
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
1 month ago

Or pianos

Tom Dean Boxall
Reply to  Togger
1 month ago

sorry to say but I already predicted that he won’t medal based on his semis

Last edited 1 month ago by Tom Dean Boxall
Francis
Reply to  Tommy Schmitt
1 month ago

150im

Chris
Reply to  Francis
1 month ago

haha

FST
Reply to  Francis
1 month ago

That’s what the Para athletes swim…

Mr. Daegon
Reply to  FST
1 month ago

Why so much hate? We are all brothers and sisters. His differing views have not caused any outbreaks as I’m sure (from personal experience) that the athletes are tested almost daily. So what is the issue in the public hate? He’s a young man who should’ve gotten the vaccine but didn’t. If you all cared so much about wearing masks, you would be upset about the swimmers not wearing them behind the blocks during relay events as well.

Bossanova
Reply to  Mr. Daegon
1 month ago

Perhaps his differing views haven’t caused any Tokyo outbreaks, but how do you think he behaved back home when he wasn’t under constant scrutiny? Wouldn’t be surprised if he passed his covid on to a dozen people when he had it.

Coach
Reply to  Mr. Daegon
1 month ago

I agree. It is hard to see so much disdain towards the Andrew family. I don’t agree with a lot of their decisions, but I do respect their right to make those decisions.

Khachaturian
1 month ago

It is like he is trying to sabotage the USA medley relay

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Khachaturian
1 month ago

I don’t see how any of the coaches or guys would have confidence in him now. And it’s a shame. He’s crumbled under the pressure of the meet and the criticism over COVID, and he’s in his “Thy will be done” (literally he posted that after his 100 breast) phase of accepting defeat. Unless he rips a blistering 50 free to show he’s bounced back, I’d go with Wilson and Fink. Hope he looks to Spitz’s failures in ’68 and rebound in ’72 as inspiration for a turnaround.

BearlyBreathing
1 month ago

Could he be sent home for this?

Facts
Reply to  BearlyBreathing
1 month ago

Might be best for him tbh. He’s having a really bad meet and putting his teammates at risk. He could really use some time to reflect on his actions and training so he can be a better swimmer next year

Last edited 1 month ago by Facts
anonymous
Reply to  Facts
1 month ago

He is not putting vaccinated teammates at risk

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  anonymous
1 month ago

Of course not. Said no one who’s been following COVID variants.

Swammer22
Reply to  anonymous
1 month ago

Yes he is. The delta variant spreads much more easily. They might not get seriously ill but if they test positive they cannot compete anymore. This was an incredibly selfish move by Michael Andrew.

anonymous
Reply to  Swammer22
1 month ago

Has he tested positive

HBP
Reply to  Swammer22
1 month ago

Agreed. He is not the only athlete who trained for the Olympics. If he refused to get vaccinated for whatever reason, he had a choice not to participate in the Olympics as a member of Team USA. An extremely self-centered decision. Do not put other athletes and coaches that have a conscientious mindset.

Arthur
Reply to  anonymous
1 month ago

Vaccinated team mates can still test positive with no symptoms and miss their races.

Stewie
Reply to  anonymous
1 month ago

Tina?

Success Leaves Clues
Reply to  anonymous
1 month ago

Yes he certainly is. If he gets a Covid positive all his flatmates would have been contact-traced out of the Olympics… Selfish does not describe it enough…

oldswimguy
Reply to  Facts
1 month ago

He has been infected with Covid, so better immunity than those that are vaccinated. He is not putting anyone at risk. Not wearing a mask when you are many feet away from folks, along with the immunity from being infected puts the risk of infecting someone at 0. Science folks………….

Rafael
Reply to  oldswimguy
1 month ago

Wrong. It has already been proved that Vaccination gives better immunity than Infection. If Infection was a guarantee that someone was safe, Dean would not have caught it twice.

oldswimguy
Reply to  Rafael
1 month ago

You are wrong. The science is out there for anyone to look at. And this is consistent with all viruses.

anonymous
Reply to  Rafael
1 month ago

You are looking at one case. Medical science has studies looking at 52,000 people and no one who had Covid got reinfected. It is rare for someone to get reinfected just as it is rare for someone who is vaccinated and had a immune response to get infected.

BigNowhere
Reply to  anonymous
1 month ago

I guess they didn’t talk to Tom Dean

Chris
Reply to  oldswimguy
1 month ago

wrong.

anonymous
Reply to  BearlyBreathing
1 month ago

Caleb Dressel in mixed zone not wearing mask on reporters twitter feed sending dressel home?

Chris
Reply to  anonymous
1 month ago

yea but dressel is the goat sprinter and we all love him. We can let that slide.

Minushka
Reply to  anonymous
1 month ago

Yeah, but I think dressel is vaccinated

Swammer22
Reply to  anonymous
1 month ago

It was immediately after his race and he was still catching his breath with Dressel.

anonymous
Reply to  Swammer22
1 month ago

Isn’t the mix zone immediately after all races

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  BearlyBreathing
1 month ago

Hey, we don’t need any more non-mask-wearing, unvaccinated people here. Keep him in Japan.

Bobo Gigi
1 month ago

Not a good day for MA.