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First positive COVID tests for athletes in Olympic Village

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
                                National banners hang from balconies at an athlete’s village as Tokyo prepares for the Olympics.

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

    National banners hang from balconies at an athlete’s village as Tokyo prepares for the Olympics.

TOKYO >> Two athletes living in the Olympic Village have tested positive for COVID-19, the first to do so with the Tokyo Games opening on Friday.

Organizers confirmed the positive tests today and both were listed as non-Japanese. No names or other details were provided.

Organizers today also said another athlete had tested positive but this person was not residing in the Olympic Village. This athlete was also identified as “non-Japanese.”

Also today, the first International Olympic Committee member was reported as positive. He recorded a positive test on Saturday upon entering a Tokyo airport.

The International Olympic Committee confirmed the test and identified him as Ryu Seung-min of South Korea. He won an Olympic gold medal in table tennis in the 2004 Olympics.

He was reportedly being held in isolation. Reports said he was asymptomatic.

IOC President Thomas Bach said last week there was “zero” risk of athletes in the village passing on the virus to Japanese or other residents of the village.

Former distance runner Tegla Loroupe, the chief of mission of the IOC’s Refugee Olympic Team, has tested positive for COVID-19, two people with knowledge of her condition have told The Associated Press.

Loroupe tested positive before the team was to depart its Doha, Qatar, training base for Tokyo. The team has delayed its arrival in Tokyo and many are expected to start arriving in the next few days.

Loroupe is expected to stay behind, according to the sources, who requested anonymity because they weren’t authorized to reveal medical information.

Organizers say since July 1, 55 people linked to the Olympics have reported positive tests. This figure does not include athletes or others who may have arrived for training camps but are not yet under the “jurisdiction” of the organizing committee.

The Olympic Village on Tokyo Bay will house 11,000 Olympic athletes and thousands of support staff.

Tokyo reported 1,008 new COVID-19 cases today, the 29th straight day that cases were higher than seven days previously. It was also the fifth straight day with more than 1,000 cases reported.

The Olympics will open on Friday under a state of emergency in Tokyo and three neighboring prefectures. The emergency order lasts until Aug. 22. The Olympics close on Aug. 8.

Fans — local and those from abroad — have been banned for all Olympic events in Tokyo and the three neighboring prefectures. A few outlying venues may allow a smattering of local fans.

About 200 protesters gathered today outside Shinjuku station in central Tokyo, waving signs that read “No Olympics.” It was the latest in a series of small protests over the last few months targeting the Games.

“We are not only protesting the Olympics,” protester Karoi Todo told The Associated Press. “We are opposing the government overall — this is ignoring human rights and our right to life. Infections are increasing. To do the Olympics is unforgivable.”

Keigo Oyamada, a Japanese composer whose music is part of Friday’s opening ceremony, has apologized for bullying a classmate when he was a child.

The reports of the abuse of a child with disabilities surfaced in Japanese media and sparked a backlash on social media. There has been a call for his resignation from the opening ceremony production.

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