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Rob Koehler and Thomas Bach — Photo: IOC   

Protestor says No Tokyo, IOC says Yes Tokyo

The postponed Games of the Summer Olympiad in Tokyo 2020 has become a celebration of the 125th year of the Olympic Movement. Under pressure to postpone/ cancel the Olympics from July 23 to August 9, because of the raging COVID-19 pandemic, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) headed by West German Thomas Bach — a gold medal winner in a fencing team event at the 1976 Montreal Olympics — and of which India’s Nita Ambani is one among the 103 powerful members — confirmed on May 13 that it would go ahead with the Summer Games. The IOC reasoned that only one positive case was reported from the 12 test events and also support from WHO for the countermeasures that will be implemented at the Games. The IOC also cited the series of “Playbooks” that outlines the rules to be followed by athletes and others during the Games. Doubts have been raised by athletes who point at the national emergency extended by the Japanese Government. Moreover less than 3% of Japan has been vaccinated so far and nearly 60% of Japan want the Olympics and Paralympics to be cancelled. At the virtual IOC press conference on May 13, an anti-Olympics protestor gate-crashed and raised banners with messages, “No Olympics in Tokyo” and “No Olympics anywhere.” Mailing a response to, Canadian Rob Koehler, the former Deputy Director General of the World Anti-Doping Agency for 17 years plus and Director General of ‘Global Athlete’  — of which  more than one thousand athletes are members — expressed misgivings about the “Playbooks” saying: “Athletes are essential workers for the Games, unpaid workers, and they deserve the most robust Covid-19 protocols possible. Protocols that will protect the athletes and Japanese population. The IOC’s Tokyo 2020 Playbook abundantly falls short.”