Two Georgian judo athletes ejected from Olympics after going on Tokyo sightseeing trip


TOKYO — An unauthorized sightseeing trip has cost two Georgian judo athletes their credentials, according to a Kyodo News report.

Tokyo 2020 spokesman Masa Takaya had announced at the daily briefing Saturday that a resident of the Olympic Village had been stripped of their credential for violating COVID-19 protocols by going sightseeing. He would not provide more details, including whether it was an athlete, what country he or she was from or when the incident occurred.

He also refused to say whether the “accreditation deprivation,” which occurred Friday, was temporary or permanent.

Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto will have more information at Sunday’s daily briefing, Takaya said.

“All I can say is (the person) left the Olympic Village for sightseeing and accreditation was deprived. I can’t give you any more than that,” he said.

But Kyodo, citing a spokesperson for the Georgian Olympic committee, reported Saturday night that it was two judo athletes, and that they had been ejected from the Games. Kyodo did not provide any further details, and the Georgian Olympic committee did not immediately return an email from USA TODAY Sports.

Earlier, Takaya would only say that if someone’s credential is revoked “they are not allowed to access Tokyo 2020 venues.”

Judo’s last event, the mixed team, was Saturday, and Georgia did not qualify. Georgia had nine judo athletes in Tokyo, seven of them men. Four won medals, including Lasha Bekauri’s gold in the 90 kg category.

Everyone – athletes, coaches, media members, volunteers – at the Tokyo Olympics must follow a series of strict protocols to keep the Games from becoming a COVID-19 super-spreader event. That includes not venturing outside of Tokyo 2020 venues or using public transportation for the first 14 days they’re in the country.

This is the first breach of the whereabouts protocol since the Olympics began. A Ugandan weightlifter went missing from a training camp July 16, a week before the Opening Ceremony, but was found five days later.

“Leaving the Village for the purpose of sightseeing, that is something not to be tolerated,” Masa said. “Therefore, we went through the appropriate process for deprivation.”