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.