IOC boss Thomas Bach: “Vaccine not mandatory for Tokyo Olympians”

Athletes participating in the Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer are not obliged to be vaccinated against the coronavirus. This is what President Thomas Bach of the International Olympic Committee said during his working visit to the Japanese capital. Mandatory vaccination is one step too far. The athletes are free to decide on that.

The IOC boss mentioned several things that play a role. This is a matter of personal health, a question of the state of health of every athlete and, of course, of the availability of a vaccine. We will appeal to the athletes to get vaccinated, because it is an expression of respect for fellow athletes and the Japanese organisation, says Bach.

The IOC boss is on a four-day working visit in Tokyo, where the Games were supposed to take place last summer. Coronapandemic caused a delay for one year.

Positive reports

The IOC, the Japanese Government and the Tokyo Organisation are determined to continue the event and are preparing numerous measures to ensure that the Games run safely for participants and possibly spectators.

The positive reports of the rapid arrival of a vaccine, as well as a successful test with a gym competition in Tokyo, strengthen Bachs conviction. We will take all necessary precautions to ensure that athletes feel safe and comfortable, said the German, who promised Monday that the IOC will do everything possible to have approved vaccines available to all participants in the Games.