Tokyo: International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach is confident that a big number of participants at the Tokyo Olympics this year will be vaccinated against Covid-19.
I think we can already say now that a big number of participants living in the Olympic village will be vaccinated for own safety and solidarity to the Japanese population, Bach told a news conference following an IOC executive board meeting on Wednesday.
Bach, however, reinforced the IOC position that it cannot make vaccination compulsory two months before the Games, reports dpa news agency.
But we’ve been encouraging and assisting all the national Olympic committees and Olympic teams to get vaccinated and, in fact, we can see very good process, he pointed out.
The IOC chief said they are working with experts around the world on a new version of the Olympic playbook, that will be scientific based and very factual, and is set to be published at the end of April.
Asked about a visit to Japan ahead of the Games, Bach said it’s still in the planning phase, so I cannot confirm it. Once the arrangements are made they will of course be made public.
The IOC also approved its Athletes’ commission recommendation to maintain the ban on podium protests and at the arenas at the Olympics.
Athletes were consulted in a survey and 70 per cent of the participants were against allowing any political, ethnic or religious demonstration, following Rule 50 of the Olympic charter, which prohibits athletes from demonstrating or protesting in certain places at the Games.
A very clear majority of athletes think this is inappropriate, head of the commission Kirsty Coventry said.