Tokyo Olympics athletes, officials to be under GPS surveillance; village might not have alcohol supply

Apartment blocks at the Tokyo Olympics Games Village
Apartment blocks at the Tokyo Olympics Games Village

Athletes and officials at the Tokyo Olympics will have to agree to a clause to allow the organizing committee to use GPS to monitor their movements at the Games through smartphones, CEO of the organizing committee Toshiro Muto said.

All athletes and team officials will be in a bio-bubble, both at the Games village as well as at training venues and stadiums. Overseas media personnel will also be subject to monitoring, the organizers announced on Tuesday.

Muto, however, said the monitoring would not be for behavioral purposes.

''We are not going to monitor their behavior. It’s not for that purpose. The thing is, though, if there should be issues with their activity, then, since the GPS function will be on, we'll be able to verify their activities."

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Alcohol could be banned at Games village

The organizing committee could ban alcohol in public areas of the Games village. The move comes as Tokyo and many parts of Japan are in a state of partial shutdown and emergency, with bars and restaurants closing early and alcohol being banned.

The Tokyo Olympics, which get going from July 23, could see more COVID-19 testing and vaccination hubs than party and fun areas. More than 11,000 athletes and 4,400 Paralympians will be housed in the Olympic village along with several team and Games officials.

Muto, however, said it would be a difficult task to ban alcohol in athletes’ private rooms in the village.

The committee CEO was speaking to Japanese media after a meeting with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) executive board. Muto added that no policy is in place but some clarity on the same is expected by the end of this month.

"We have not yet clearly decided on the alcohol policy. We hope to do so by the end of this month."

Everyone entering Japan for the Tokyo Olympics will have to undergo a coronavirus test twice, once before leaving their home country and a second test on arrival at the port of entry in Japan. They should also submit an activity plan to authorities and limit their movements for 14 days after entering the country.

Although cases have been on the decline in Tokyo and other neighborhoods, the organizing committee is not ready to leave anything to chance that could hamper the smooth conduct of the 17-day mega event.

Also read: IOA drops Chinese brand as official kit sponsor for Tokyo Olympics

Also read: Overseas media personnel to be monitored closely via GPS at Tokyo Olympics

Edited by Rohit Mishra
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