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Australian athletes to face ‘cruel’ 28 days of quarantine

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The Australian Olympic committee has slammed the decision to impose a 28 day period for some returning athletes

The AOC says the South Australian Government’s decision to ignore expert medical advice poses a significant mental health risk for those athletes.

The fully vaccinated Australian Olympic Team has returned home and is currently undergoing the mandatory quarantine arrangements at hotels and facilities around Australia

However, the South Australian Government will impose a further mandatory quarantine period when South Australian athletes return from hotel quarantine in Sydney… totalling 28 days in isolation.

South Australia is the only state to do this.

There are 56 team members returning to South Australia with 16 currently quarantined in Sydney.

The SA government has rejected AOC appeals to grant exemptions for the returning Olympians, who will isolate at their homes rather than at quarantine hotels.

Adelaide’s Belinda White, a member of Australia’s Olympic softball team, will be the first athlete impacted.

Softball Australia’s chief executive officer David Pryles worried at her wellbeing during her next 14 days of isolation in Adelaide.

“To force Belinda to undergo an extra 14 days by herself upon returning to her hometown of Adelaide frankly gives us concern for the mental well-being of our returning Olympian,” Pryles said.

Many fans and athletes have taken to social media to express their concern.

AOC Chief Executive Officer Matt Carroll says the decision flies in the face of the expert medical advice of the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) Chief Medical Officer Dr David Hughes that the mental health of athletes can be severely challenged after returning from a highly constrained Tokyo Games environment into the further isolation of extended lockdown.

“While other countries are celebrating the return of their athletes, we are subjecting ours to the most cruel and uncaring treatment. They are being punished for proudly representing their country with distinction at the Olympic Games,”


“We are all promoting the obvious benefits of vaccination, but this important layer of protection is not working in favour of these athletes, given this decision. By any measure, this group of returning Olympians is extremely low risk.

“Not only are our Olympians fully vaccinated, but they have also been living in a highly controlled bubble in Tokyo, taking the upmost precautions – tested daily over many weeks.

Mr Carroll says the AOC has expressly followed the South Australian Health Department’s Exemption process, submitting medical evidence based on highly qualified advice.

“We have received no explanation as to why our application on behalf of these athletes has been rejected. If you run an exemption process, presumably that includes the prospect than exemptions can be granted based on scientific advice. We have received no response related to the expert advice we have provided,” Mr Carroll said.

AIS Chief Medical Officer Dr David Hughes says while he respects the South Australian process is designed to keep the state safe, the decision to reject the athletes’ application is profoundly flawed.

“To have individuals quarantined for such a lengthy period of time is in my opinion unreasonable and cannot be scientifically justified. It poses a significant risk to the physical and mental wellbeing of the individuals concerned,” Dr Hughes said.

Mr Carroll says numerous attempts to resolve this matter over some weeks without success.

“National Cabinet took a position that a double quarantine arrangement was unacceptable. Every COVID-safe procedure we have asked the Olympians to undergo, they have complied with. They can safely transfer to their home states after the mandatory hotel quarantine period without interacting with the public.

The AOC wrote formally to the South Australian Chief Medical Officer after weeks of discussions with departmental staff. Today the AOC was informed of the decision that the Olympians would be required to home quarantine, on top of the two weeks hotel quarantine just completed.

Mr Carroll says the home quarantine option is no less impactful. First the athletes are required to apply for home quarantine, with no certainty of approval.

“Athletes subject to home quarantine will not be permitted a welcome home hug. Either the athlete’s family must move away, the athlete must find a way of isolating from the family or the entire family goes into quarantine. That is not an acceptable option for someone who is fully vaccinated and who has already just completed two weeks’ quarantine,” Mr Carroll concluded.

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Sport

Tom Brady to start sportscasting in 2024

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Tom Brady plans to start his sportscasting duties on Fox in 2024

 
Brady’s arrival behind the microphone had been uncertain, especially in the wake of him retiring last year, before changing his mind.

The 45-year-old will be a part of the biggest matches for Fox, as well as act as an ambassador for the Network.

Brady made the announcement to retire from the NFL for the second time last week.

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Formula 1 speeds into New York

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Formula One world champions Red Bull took their season launch to the United States with a spray of pyrotechnics in front of a rapt Manhattan crowd as fans braved the bitter cold outside.

Where once NASCAR and IndyCar had a stranglehold on American gearheads, the splash hit Netflix docu-drama “Drive to Survive” has indoctrinated legions of new fans in the United States.

Neither icy cold nor eye-watering winds whipping along the Hudson River could deter the dozens of people who showed up outside the Classic Car Club on Friday, hoping to catch a glimpse of their favourite drivers heading for the launch.

“I’ve been following it for a while and around 2017, 2016 it wasn’t that big in the United States,” said Tyler Quinn, 21, a college student in Manhattan, who last year saved up to see the Formula One race in Canada and feared the growing fan base could make future trips prohibitively expensive.

“It’s exploded exponentially. You know, when I talk to people in school … they all know about F1, they all recognise certain things, they all ask me questions. It’s growing fast and I really am glad about that.”

Las Vegas will join Austin and Miami as the third race in the United States in the 2023 calendar as F1 looks to make further inroads into the lucrative market.

Speaking at the members-only Classic Car Club, where a garage of luxury cars is available for patrons to enjoy, Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner told Reuters that “Drive to Survive” had been a “game changer”.

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Sport

Tom Brady announces retirement – again

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NFL Quarterback Tom Brady has announced he will be retiring again

Taking to Instagram to reveal his decision, the 45-year-old only needed a moment to get his message across.

Brady is regarded as the most successful quarterback in NFL history, winning seven Super Bowls for the New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The 45-year-old briefly announced he would retire last February, but was lured back for one more season.

But now, he says, enough is enough.

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