Sep 3, 2021

Secretary-General Blas reminds Oceania athletes and officials to follow COVID-19 Playbook rules in Tokyo
TOKYO, 03 AUGUST 2021 - ONOC Secretary-General Ricardo Blas sent a strong reminder to all Oceania athletes and officials at the Tokyo Olympic Games underscoring the importance of following the Tokyo Playbooks outlining rules which are COVID-19 pandemic countermeasures.

He said, ‘It is a matter of concern because athletes and officials are living in the Games Village and exposed to other athletes of the world.’

Secretary-General Blas said it was important that the Playbook protocols be followed to ensure the most minimum risk of both spreading the coronavirus should one have it, and vice versa, to minimise all risks of contraction and infection.

He said while he was happy that the Secretaries-General and Presidents of the National Olympic Committees (NOCs) understood the message, it was a matter of grave concern that all Chefs de Mission be at the same level of appreciation for the counter-measures.

‘The concerns are very real,’ Blas said. ‘The message is very clear. The role of Chefs de Mission cannot be taken for granted. They are responsible for all athletes and officials.’

‘As ONOC, we have to follow the Playbooks and ensure that all our members are doing the same.’

He also said, ‘This is very important for the Chefs de Mission as some of them are COVID Liaison Officers (CLOs) and bear the responsibility to be diligent about the Games and the safeguarding of athletes.’

Secretary-General Blas said they are responsible and are obligated to fulfil this role.

‘They have to know. My job is to let them know that that is their responsibility.’

The Tokyo Playbooks outlining the COVID-19 countermeasures for the delivery of a safe Games were progressively designed and completed before the Games. They were made available to every NOC and all athletes and officials. There were also online workshops and training for familiarisation for key games entourage members.

For more on the Tokyo Playbooks please go here.