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Olympic athlete, staffer test positive for virus in Tokyo

Eight days before the opening ceremony on July 23 it was unclear if the athlete must miss their event.

TOKYO, Japan — An Olympic athlete and a staffer linked to the Tokyo Games tested positive for COVID-19 after arriving in Japan, organizers said Thursday.

The two people, who were not identified, were among six new cases — including four contractors who are residents of Japan — reported by the Tokyo local organizing committee.

The athlete, who tested positive on Wednesday, went into 14-day quarantine. Eight days before the opening ceremony on July 23, it was unclear if the athlete must miss their event.

The staffer classed as “games-concerned personnel” — a category including the International Olympic Committee, sports governing bodies, Olympic teams, sponsors and official broadcasting staff — tested positive on Tuesday and is also in quarantine for two weeks.

The six cases lifted the total to 26 COVID-19 infections of games participants and workers in Tokyo since July 1, organizers said.

Tokyo authorities also reported on Thursday 1,308 new COVID-19 cases for the highest daily total since Jan. 21. It was the 26th straight day of cases being higher than one week previously.

Credit: AP
People walk by the Olympic rings installed by the Nippon Bashi bridge in Tokyo on Thursday, July 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Hiro Komae)

The postponed Tokyo Olympics are being held in a state of emergency one year after they were originally scheduled.

The organizers’ tally of COVID-19 cases does not include athletes and team officials testing positive at camps outside Japan.

The refugee team pushed back its arrival from a pre-games camp in Qatar because an unidentified member of the delegation was infected in a case announced Wednesday. The IOC said the person was single-vaccinated, has no symptoms and was isolated by Qatari authorities.

The delay meant the 29-athlete refugee team’s leader, former marathon women’s world record holder Tegla Loroupe, missed a meeting of chefs de mission at the Olympic village in Tokyo with IOC president Thomas Bach.