Olympic refugee team official tests positive for COVID-19, delaying arrival

Olympic refugee team official tests positive for COVID-19, delaying arrival
© PHILIP FONG/AFP via Getty Images

All members of the Olympic refugee team have had their arrival to the Tokyo Games delayed due to a team official testing positive for COVID-19. 

“In the past few days, the IOC Refugee Olympic Team came together for a Welcome Experience in Doha, Qatar. Twenty-six of the 29 athletes and 11 officials participated. On taking COVID-19 PCR tests before leaving for Tokyo, the test of an official returned positive,” the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said in a statement on Wednesday.  

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“A follow-up test confirmed the result, while the tests of all other members of the team (athletes and officials) returned negative,” the organization wrote.

The IOC also said that the team official who tested positive was immediately isolated by Qatar authorities, sharing that the official has received a single vaccine shot and followed all COVID-19 protocols as well. 

“As a consequence, it was decided that the team would currently not travel to Tokyo and will continue their training in Doha while being tested daily,” the committee said. “The IOC, in cooperation with the Qatar Olympic Committee, is supporting the team and evaluating the situation. The next steps will be communicated once they are decided.”

The Olympic refugee team, created in 2016 by the IOC, is focused on allowing athletes who have been forced to leave their native countries a chance to compete in the event, The Associated Press reported.

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This comes after Thursday's announcement that the games will not have spectators due to the rise of coronavirus cases in the country. 

Host city Tokyo announced a new rise in COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, the AP noted. 

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics are set to begin on July 23.