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Senior IOC figure issues warning over maskless athletes at Tokyo opening ceremony

The second edition of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games rules agreed by the Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games and the International Olympic Committee is seen on June 8, 2021. (Mainichi/Yukako Ono)

TOKYO -- A senior International Olympic Committee (IOC) official told a July 24 regular press conference that the organization will warn athletes against not wearing masks, after some appeared maskless at the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony.

    Olympic Games Executive Director Christophe Dubi told the media that the IOC would take action, reiterating that it would warn participants repeatedly and work to ensure people do not fail to wear masks.

    To prevent coronavirus infections spreading, organizations including the Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games have put together the Olympic Playbook of rules for athletes while at the event. Except for specific times such as training and competition, athletes are asked to wear masks.

    On the night of July 23, during the opening ceremony, members of the Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan delegation, and Pakistan's flagbearer, appeared without masks. Other participants were seen having removed their masks after parading in, and having lively conversations.

    Dubi stressed that in most cases, the athletes had simply forgotten to wear the masks. He also said people who have just arrived in Japan wouldn't have acquired the habit of wearing them daily, and that warnings would be issued repeatedly.

    (Japanese original by Yoshikazu Takeuchi, Tokyo City News Department)

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