Staff and athletes will be required to be fully vaccinated before the Beijing Winter Olympics, according to a policy announced by the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee.
The United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) announced the policy on Wednesday.
The USOPC won’t consider unvaccinated athletes for the Beijing games, who will need to provide proof of vaccination by December 1st. The Winter Olympics will begin on the 4th of February next year.
The Associated Press obtained the letter CEO Sarah Hirshland sent to athletes and staff detailing the decision to implement the policy for future Olympic and Paralympic Games, starting with the 2022 Tokyo Winter Olympic Games.
“Effective Nov. 1, 2021, the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee will require all USOPC staff, athletes and those utilizing USOPC facilities – including the training centers – to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19,” Hirshland wrote.
“This requirement will also apply to our full Team USA delegation at future Olympic and Paralympic Games.”
Athletes will be given the opportunity to apply for an exemption, and Hirshland hopes most COVID-19 restrictions will be lifted in time for the Games.
“The stark reality is that this pandemic is far from over,” Hirshland wrote.
“This step will increase our ability to create a safe and productive environment for Team USA athletes and staff, and allow us to restore consistency in planning, preparation and service to athletes.”
The USOPC also revealed data on vaccination rates at the Tokyo Olympics via their website, with 83% of Team USA, and 86% of international athletes at the Olympic Village being fully vaccinated.
Athletes previously weren’t required to be vaccinated by the International Olympic Committee to attend the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics, although they encouraged athletes to get vaccinated.
-by Parker McKenzie
Update on Brittney Griner’s Moscow appeal
A Moscow regional court has officially set an appeal date of October 25 for American basketball star Brittney Griner
Griner was sentenced to nine years in prison in Russia for smuggling drugs into the country, arrested with less than 1 gram of cannabis oil in her luggage at Moscow’s International Airport back in February.
Details about the appeal hearing have not been released,
It is expected Griner’s team will argue she did not know the cannabis oil was illegal in Russia and that she was only carrying a small amount for personal use.
There have also been rumours that the U.S. is negotiating a prisoner swap with Russia, but it is not clear if Griner is part of those negotiations.
The U.S. has not confirmed or denied the rumours.
Vigil held for the 125 people killed in stadium disaster
Vigil held for the 125 people killed in Indonesia’s stadium disaster, as the nation mourns
Vigil held for the 125 people have been killed in a crush and riot at a soccer match in Indonesia.
Authorities believe it is one of the world’s worst stadium disasters. Now, the nation stops to mourn the lives that have been lost.
The tragedy unfolded in Malang, in the province of East Java. It followed home side Arema FC loosing 3-2 to Persebaya Surabaya.
East Java police chief Nico Afinta said frustrated Arema supporters invaded the pitch.
Officers responded by firing tear gas in an attempt to control the situation, triggering the crush and cases of suffocation.
Afinta claimed officers had been attacked and cars damaged. He said the crush happened when fans fled for an exit gate.
300 were injured, including 22-year-old Muhammad Rian Dwicahyono who said many friends had lost their lives “because of officers who dehumanized us”.
The head of one of the hospitals in the area treating patients told Metro TV that some of the victims had sustained brain injuries and that the fatalities included a five-year-old child.
On Sunday, Malang residents gathered outside the stadium to lay flowers.
As investigations continue, Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo has ordered the Football Association of Indonesia to suspend all games in the top league.
World soccer’s governing body FIFA has requested a report on the incident from Indonesia’s PSSI soccer association.
FIFA’s safety regulations say no firearms or “crowd control gas” should be carried or used by stewards or police.
East Java police did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether they were aware of such regulations.
Crypto.com scraps $495m deal with UEFA Champions League
Cryptocurrency exchange Crypto.com has cancelled a five-year sponsorship deal worth $495million with the UEFA Champions League
The in-principle deal would have seen the crypto company take over as the sponsor from Russian state-owned energy company, Gazprom.
Gazprom’s contract was cancelled in March, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Crypto.com scrapped the deal because of regulatory concerns in the U.K, France and Italy.
The crypto exchange has previously been involved in sports advertising over the past year, with sponsorship into Formula One and the naming rights deal for the Staples Centre in Los Angeles.
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