Tokyo 2020 Refugee Olympic Team leader’s participation in doubt due to COVID-19

Refugee Olympic Team (EOR) Head of Mission Tegla Loroupe could miss the opportunity to lead the team at the delayed Olympics here as she is still in Doha after testing positive for COVID-19.

James Macleod, a senior official with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), revealed that the organization was “discussing the next steps” with Loroupe, the long-distance track and road runner who spearheaded the team during the race. of his Olympic debut at Rio 2016.

Loroupe’s positive test for COVID-19 came at the EOR pre-Tokyo 2020 camp in Doha, which delayed the team’s arrival for the Olympic Games reported here.

The rest of the 29-strong staff arrived in time for the Games, but the Loroupe remains in the Qatari capital.

“Tegla is still in Doha, but she is doing well,” said Macleod, Director of NOC Relations and Olympic Solidarity at the IOC.

“We will discuss the next steps with her in the coming days.”

Tokyo 2020 today confirmed seven new positive cases of COVID-19 among those accredited for the Games in Japan since July 1, bringing the total to 160 for that period.

Two are athletes residing in the Olympic Village, including Dutch table tennis player Jean-Julien Rojer, whose case was announced yesterday.

Rojer, the second Dutch athlete to test positive for COVID-19 after competing in the Games, and his doubles partner Wesley Koolhof were forced to withdraw from the tournament yesterday after his positive test was confirmed.

They had beaten Belgians Sander Gille and Joran Vliegen in their first round and the eighth seeds were to face New Zealanders Marcus Daniell and Michael Venus.

Dutch tennis player Jean-Julien Rojer was forced to retire after testing positive for COVID-19 © Getty Images
Dutch tennis player Jean-Julien Rojer was forced to retire after testing positive for COVID-19 © Getty Images

There are now six confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Dutch delegation to the Games.

The identity of the other athlete who tested positive at the Village has not been revealed.

At least 18 athletes have tested positive for COVID-19 since arriving in the Japanese capital for the Olympics.

Two of the other new cases revealed by organizers today were from “staff connected to the games” – which includes groups such as team officials and coaches – who are staying in the village.

There have now been 20 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among residents of the village.

Nearly 240,000 screening tests were performed on Olympic participants between July 1 and July 25 and the positivity rate is 0.02%, the IOC said today.

Tokyo yesterday recorded 1,429 new cases of COVID-19, nearly double the figure for last week and the most on record for a Monday.

It was the seventh day in a row that more than 1,000 infections were reported in the Japanese capital.

Health experts had claimed the Games could become a ‘super-broadcaster’ event, while organizers were criticized for rules in place at the event from members of the government’s COVID-19 advisory group Japanese.

The IOC has warned that action will be taken against those found guilty of “flagrant” violations of the rules.

Athletes and other Olympic participants have been threatened with temporary exclusion from the Games or even disqualification if they continue to break the rules.

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