Tokyo 2020 Round-Up: Blaming Burritos And Doping Bans

With the Olympic Games set to kick off at the end of July, preparations for the Games are beginning in all sports, not just in swimming. In this series, SwimSwam looks at some of the leading news from outside of swimming as athletes around the world continue to prepare and qualify for the rescheduled Olympic Games which are due to begin in Tokyo on July 23rd, and Paralympic Games, which are scheduled to begin August 24th.

Positive Tests For Athletes Will Not Mean Disqualification

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has announced that athletes will not be disqualified from competition if they test positive for coronavirus and will instead be granted a ‘did not start’ status.

The measure could mean that if an athlete and/or team has to withdraw from a final gold-medal match, they will be replaced but would potentially receive a silver medal for their efforts.

The news came today as part of the third and final ‘playbook’ – which are the IOC and Tokyo organising committee’s guidelines for how the Games are set to run this summer.

The IOC’s sports director, Kit McConnell, said of the contingency plans: “We have come up with key principles which we communicated last week at the IOC Executive Board meeting.

“All these reflect the fact that we are looking to keep the integrity of competition and keep the competition schedule and formats as planned.”

He also recognised that a positive coronavirus test result will ‘not necessarily be the fault’ of the team/athlete involved, and therefore has given rise to these plans.

Houlihan Given 4-year Doping Ban, Blames Burrito

American record-holder Shelby Houlihan has been given a four-year doping ban after testing positive for the banned substance nandrolone last December.

Houlihan, who owns the records in the Women’s 1,500m and 5,000m events, has blamed the positive test result on a pork burrito.

Her ban leaves her out of contention for this summer’s Olympic Games, as well as the Paris 2024 Games.

In a lengthy statement posted to her Instagram page, Houlihan detailed her “devastation” at the news.

Badminton’s Markis Kido Dies of Heart Attack Aged 36

Indonesian badminton star Markis Kido has died aged 36 after suffering a cardiac arrest during a badminton match in Tangerang.

One of the most decorated players in the sport, Kido became Olympic champion in 2008 after winning the men’s Olympic doubles event alongside Hendra Setiawan.

His death has shocked the world, with the Badminton Association of Indonesia labelling him a “hero”.

Speaking on his former partner’s death, Setiawan said: “My deepest condolences for one of my best partners in joy and sorrow.

“He was one of the most extraordinary and talented players. I want to say thank you for being a good partner in winning or losing.”

More Vaccines Secured For Tokyo Workers

The Japanese Government has struck another deal with Covid-19 vaccine producer Pfizer which will see a further 20,000 doses of the vaccine secured for those who will be working at the upcoming Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The announcement was made by Tokyo’s Olympics Minister Tamayo Marukawa and will see the number of guaranteed vaccine doses doubling to 40,000 for workers.

The eligibility list has been extended to individuals working at the Athletes’ Village, members of the Organising Committee and domestic media who will be covering the events.

This news adds to the earlier estimation made by the IOC and Tokyo organising committees that 80% of individuals at the Games – athletes and staff – will be fully inoculated.

To date, just 13% of the host nation’s population has been vaccinated. The Olympic Games are due to begin on July 23rd with the Paralympic Games kicking off roughly a month later on August 24th.

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Coach Macgyver
1 year ago

If this steroid is really in these food truck burritos, then my heart should have exploded like 15 years ago.

Corn Pop
Reply to  Coach Macgyver
1 year ago

Going to most of the world is a good way to become a non meat eater for a time. I haven’t as yet put Oregon on that list but because US athletes are so honest , I may have to .

1 year ago

Sorry. An athlete saying they’ve never heard of Nandrolone is either a moron or a bad liar. And the excuse… yeah right.

Jian Yang
1 year ago

From the reactions I’ve seen so far, American athletes seem to get the benefit of the doubt from the court of public opinion much more frequently than athletes from other nations.

Reply to  Jian Yang
1 year ago

Here on SwimSwam?? No, never!


Reply to  Jian Yang
1 year ago

Yes, i am a bit jack of it…

1 year ago

Worth keeping an eye in the decision to enforce an extremely strict quarantine on athletes from ‘red list’ countries, whether they’ve vaccinated & have negative tests of not; 6 days with no training or exercise in the final few weeks, for athletes from select countries. I know people at UK Sport are worrying as it’ll impact British athletes, and we’re due to arrive at our bases on July 1st.

Corn Pop
Reply to  Dee
1 year ago

UK maybe should not go on July1.

Reply to  Corn Pop
1 year ago

Arrival date is irrelevant, 6 day quarantine is required whenever you arrive if you’re from a red list country. It would play havoc with tapers for our swimmers, and any from other red list nations; BOA say all GB athletes over the age of 16 will be vaccinated (currently 90% are) and will be enter isolation/shielding in UK prior to departure, plus tested rigorously in the weeks prior to departure and upon arrival in Japan, to try to persuade an exemption. We’ll see what happens, but it could really derail our (and many other) swimmers.

Last edited 1 year ago by Dee
1 year ago

At the end of the day, it’s part of your job as a professional athlete to make sure that what goes into your system is clean. Is that annoying when you just want to scarf down a burrito from the vendor around the corner every now and then? Yes. But that’s the life you chose…

1 year ago

Tyler Hamilton’s book details micro doing, why endurance athletes take testosterone etc. What would have helped would have been a sample of the food or ask the truck where the purchased it. None the less, was this a random test, did someone call in a report. American’s cheat too at levels of sport. This is interesting about nandrolone specifically.

1 year ago

We must all have doping substances in our bodies if there are steroids and PEDs in burritos and tap water.

1 year ago

Although ridiculous sounding there have been other instances of meat from Mexico being blamed for failed PED tests.

Oz swimmer
Reply to  SCCOACH
1 year ago

The houlihan case is really odd. What she tested positive for was a mass building steroid with a particularly long half-life in the body. Why would a 1500 and 5000 runner be trying to build mass. Very strange

Reply to  Oz swimmer
1 year ago

1. It was a steroid used to grow animals and she ate the meat
2. She used the steroid to rebuild injured or broken down muscles faster.

Reply to  Oz swimmer
1 year ago

Yes strange indeed. I read they tested her hair and there it wasn’t detected there, which kind of makes medium- or long-term use impossible.
It really sucks that so many drug cheats that came before her have made it impossible to believe her story 100%.

Irish Ringer
Reply to  SCCOACH
1 year ago

Pigs like to flex too and wouldn’t be surprised if one juiced up a bit to strut around the farm not knowing its eventual destination was going to be a food truck.