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IOC must match the commitment of athletes to a safe and successful pandemic Olympiad: Key questions remain


IOC must match the commitment of athletes to a safe and successful pandemic Olympiad:  Key questions remain

The World Players Association wishes all athletes a safe and successful Games as the 2020 Tokyo Olympics officially open today amid the Covid-19 pandemic.  Athletes are the essential workers for the Olympics and have made incredible sacrifices to compete and makes the Games possible.

World Players has consistently advocated for Covid-19 measures which are guided by the science and the best practices adopted in many professional team sports. Building on the successful track record of affiliated player associations, World Players is closely monitoring the situation in Tokyo to ensure that: (1) public health and safety is protected, especially by the Games not becoming a ‘super-spreader’ event; (2) athlete health and safety is preserved; and (3) the integrity and fairness of competition without it being distorted by inadequate Covid-19 measures.

Many questions remain unanswered with a growing number of positive cases already being detected in the confines of the Athletes’ Village. World Players also shares the disappointment of athletes who have been forced to withdraw or be excluded from competition and the lack of clarity in many cases.

Key unanswered questions have been outlined in a recent letter addressed to the IOC President by Professor Michael Osterholm, Dr Annie Sparrow, and Dr Lisa Brosseau, co-authors of an article published in the leading medical publication the New England Journal of Medicine, which incorporated the resources developed by World Players. 

With the Games opening, it is the IOC’s turn to match the commitment and sacrifice of the athletes to ensure a safe and successful pandemic Olympiad.


The World Players Association, part of UNI Global Union, is the exclusive global voice of organized players and athletes across professional sport. It brings together 85,000 players through more than 100 player associations in over 60 countries. Its role is to ensure that the voice of organized players is heard at the highest levels in the decision-making of international sport.

For more information please contact, Leonie Guguen, Senior Communications Manager, UNI Global Union. Tel: +41 79 137 5436 or Email: leonie.guguen@uniglobalunion.org