Monday January 17, 2022

IOC chief gives athletes Beijing Games guarantee

Published : 08 Jan 2022, 20:43

  DF News Desk

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach attends a press conference. File Photo: Michael Kappeler/dpa.

International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach has "definitely" ruled out the cancellation of the Beijing Winter Games next month despite problems caused by the coronavirus pandemic, reported dpa.

"The coronavirus policy in China is a zero Covid policy, that means it is very, very strict," Bach told the Welt am Sonntag paper in an interview. "You see that over and over," he added in reference to harsh quarantine rules in the country even when there are small numbers of infections.

Bach also reassured German athletes worried about the conditions which might await them in Beijing following test events.

"I don't think the concerns were directed against the approach as a whole, but because the implementation of some regulations did not work in these test competitions," he said.

"There was some over-application and not all protocols for the Games have been applied yet, but stricter rules [are]. This has been addressed by us. The criticized measures will be corrected."

No one who tests positive for asymptomatic infection will have to go to hospital but will spend their isolation in an appropriate hotel, Bach said.

Olympic attendees will also spend their time in China in tightly controlled bubbles but Bach said it was seen from the Tokyo summer edition last year "how grateful the athletes have been" for the Games.