With five days still remaining at the Summer Deaflympics in Brazil, Japan has decided to ‘abstain from all competitions‘ in order to prevent a spread of Covid-19 infections amongst everyone involved with the games and the local population.
Writing to the ICSD and all its members, the Japanese officials have explained that with their experience of hosting the 2021 Olympics and Paralympics, Japan incurred additional expenses to accommodate all its athletes and officials in single rooms and hired all their own private transport to move from hotels to training and competition venues. Furthermore, each of their sports team were isolated from each other to avoid any potential cross-sport infections.
Despite all these additional precautions, 10 of their athletes and one official are currently self- isolating after producing positive PCR tests. Japan is complaining that countermeasures against Covid-19 at sports venues is inadequate and that the number of Japanese athletes infected and the number of last minute withdrawal of athletes from other countries (for reasons unknown) suggest that there is likely to be a further increase of infection amongst those attending the games. To encourage people to participate, the organisers ensured that PCR checks/tests would be carried out on arrival at the airport to separate and isolate those who were infected, according to Japan, this did not take place.
They have written an official protest letter to ICSD and the host organising committee to complain that:
- ICSD and the Organising Committee failed to fulfil their responsibilities to implement Covid-19 measures
- ICSD and the Organising Committee did not carry out PCR test on participants
- Japan should not be fined for late mass withdrawal from competitions
- ICSD shall instruct its members not to discriminate or exclude anyone on the grounds of Covid-19
The final complaint was made because Italy’s volleyball team asked their opponents Japan to prove that their athletes had tested negative for Covid-19 without themselves being subject to the same testing. Italy apologised to Japan when they realised the discriminatory nature of their demands.
Japan concluded that due to ICSD and the organisers not having enough money to provide countermeasures, the games will be remembered as a Games of Fear.
All the above information was obtained from official Japanese letters on 11th May 2022.