A pair of Georgian athletes have had their accreditation revoked from the Tokyo Olympics after they left the Olympic Village to sightsee and meet “one of their good acquaintances,” violating COVID-19 protocol.
The athletes — judo silver medalists Vazha Margvelashvili and Lasha Shavdatuashvili — did not intend to violate protocol, a Georgian official told AFP news agency.
“No one stopped them at the exit, so they thought that they could go outside,” the official said. “They wanted just to have a bit of open air, to relax after a tough day of competition, after a tough lockdown period.”
As a part of stringent protocol related to concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic and, in particular, the Delta variant, athletes are not prohibited to leave the Olympic Village during their stay in Tokyo. Currently, Japan is battling record numbers of infections and is under a state of emergency. Prior to Margvelashvili and Shavdatuashvili, no athlete had left the Village boundaries without permission.
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Tokyo 2020 spokesperson Masa Takaya told the AFP that leaving the compound “for sightseeing is something that should not happen.”
The athletes had already departed Tokyo prior to the revocation of their accreditation.