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Two Georgian judoka ordered to leave Olympics for breaking Covid rules

Two Georgian silver medalists were told to leave the Olympics after breaking Covid-19 rules by going sightseeing, it has emerged. According to reports, the juduka Vazha Margvelashvili and Lasha Shavdatuashvili met up with a mutual friend in Japan and were seen taking photos while wearing their team kit.

A Georgian official said they had not planned to break rules set out in the official playbook. “No one stopped them at the exit, so they thought that they could go outside,” he added. “They wanted just to have a bit of open air, to relax after a tough day of competition, after a tough lockdown period.”

Both athletes have already left Tokyo under rules which say they have to leave Japan no later than two days after they compete. Under such rules, sightseeing and other tourist activities are banned, along with walking around the city and visiting tourist areas, shops, restaurants, bars or gyms.

Lasha Shavdatuashvili of Georgia competing in the men’s 73kg final
Lasha Shavdatuashvili of Georgia, seen here in blue competing in the men’s 73kg judo final, was one of those asked to leave the Games. Photograph: Xinhua/Rex/Shutterstock

On Sunday morning the Tokyo 2020 chief, Toshiro Muto, said that in most cases the rules were being followed. However he added: “Unfortunately there are cases of violation. There are several warnings and removals of accreditations were done.”

On Sunday, Tokyo 2020 confirmed that there had been another 18 confirmed cases of Covid-19 cases in Japan among participants for the Games since 1 July, bringing the total number in the past month to 264. The latest list includes one athlete in the Olympic village.

However Muto said that the numbers were low. “The number of infections is suppressed but outside the Games the numbers are increasing,” Muto said.“Prime minister [Yoshihide] Suga commented that there is no correlation with this surge in infection and the Games.”

Christophe Dubi, the executive director of the Olympic Games for the International Olympic Committee, added: “The state of emergency has been in place for four weeks in Tokyo. If you have accreditation, you have to follow the playbooks. The aim is to make the Games as safe as possible. The rules have been clearly established and we continue to follow those.”

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