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Athletes told to isolate can still compete with a negative test

Athletes told to isolate can still compete with a negative test
© Reuters
The International Olympic Committee has issued a clarification to Team GB athletes.

Team GB stars have been assured they will not be banished from the Tokyo Olympics if they are identified as close contacts of a positive Covid case.

Unease has been growing in the Olympic Village after six members of the British athletics team were ordered to self-isolate this week.

But the International Olympic Committee has issued a clarification that any athletes deemed a close contact will still be able to train and compete provided they continue to submit negative PCR tests.

Olympics – Rio 2016 – Team GB Announcement Athletes – St Katharine Docks
Team GB Chef de Mission Mark England has allayed fears over athletes being ruled out of Tokyo 2020 (Adam Davy/PA)

Team GB Chef de Mission Mark England said: "This is a rule that was presented to everybody only in the last 48 hours by the IOC and Tokyo 2020.

"Any athlete in the Olympic Games that has been contacted for track-and-trace and is isolating, as long as they presenting negative tests... they are allowed to enter the field of play."

The news will come as a relief to the six athletes, who have been able to continue training at the Team GB preparation camp in Yokohama, albeit being otherwise restricted to their individual rooms where they must also take their meals.

England expressed confidence in the team's "robust" protocols, on the day that a Chilean taekwondo player and a Dutch skateboarder became the first athletes to be definitively ruled out of the Games after submitting positive tests.

While athletes deemed close contacts are able to effectively continue training and competing as normal, those who test positive are required to spend a mandatory 10 days in isolation, which is likely to rule the majority out of competition.

England added: "We are a couple of days away from the opening ceremony and not one of those athletes, not one of the support staff, not one of the personnel engaging with Team GB has tested positive.

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games – Preview – Monday July 19th
Strict anti-virus measures continue to restrict athletes' movement in Tokyo (Mike Egerton/PA)

"So there should be huge confidence in our Covid mitigation measures, the testing regime that we adhere to, to not only support our Team GB but also the Japanese people and volunteers.

"We want everyone back home to buckle up. It won't be an easy ride but it will be exciting and there will be some memories that I'm sure will live long."

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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
JapanJapan124521
ChinaChina115824
United StatesUnited States1011930
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia78520
AustraliaAustralia61916
Great BritainGreat Britain56516
Today's Olympic highlights header

Thursday's key events


ROWING
· Comeback queen and super-mum Helen Glover goes for her third Olympic gold alongside Polly Swann in the women's pair final (1.30am)
· There is also a medal on offer for GB pair Emily Craig and Imogen Grant in the lightweight women's double scull final (2.10am)

SWIMMING
· As second-fastest qualifier for the final, Team GB's James Wilby is among the medal contenders in the men's 200m breaststroke (2.44am)
· Alys Thomas takes part in the women's 200m butterfly final, although he faces a difficult task to challenge for the medals (3.28am)
· Caeleb Dressel of the USA has been touted by some as the successor to Michael Phelps, and he has the chance to notch up a fourth Olympic gold in the men's 100m freestyle final (3.37am)

RUGBY SEVENS
· After Team GB's men narrowly missed out on a medal, the women get their campaign underway against the Russian Olympic Committee (3am) and New Zealand (10.30am)

HOCKEY
· It is a Great Britain vs. Netherlands double-header, with the men up first in Pool B (4.15am)
· Most eyes will be on the women's showdown between the two nations, though, as Netherlands - the world's best team - look to gain revenge on GB for defeat in the 2016 Olympic final (11am)

CANOE SLALOM
· Mallory Franklin takes part in the women's canoe semi-final, and will hope to do enough to qualify for the final later in the day (6am-8.45am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· With Simone Biles now out of the women's all-around final, the competition has been blown wide open. Team GB twins Jessica and Jennifer Gadirova are among those taking part (11.50am-2.05pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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