Tokyo Olympics Organisers Revoke Accreditations of Georgian Silver Medalists Due to Violations

Published 08/02/2021, 3:00 PM EDT
Police officers and security personnel stand guard at the entrance of the Athletes Village ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games that have been postponed to 2021 due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Tokyo, Japan July 13, 2021. REUTERS/Issei Kato


Organising the Tokyo Olympics amidst growing COVID-19 concerns was always going to be a challenge. While organisers banned fans from stadiums, they also placed several restrictions for athletes taking part in the global sporting spectacle.

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There’s no doubt that COVID-19 changed the way organisers conduct sporting events around the world. In addition, the restrictions provided an environment unknown to athletes taking part in these events. Hence, news of athletes flouting restrictions continue to do the rounds, especially at the Games.

Earlier today, organisers of the Olympics revoked the accreditation of two Georgian athletes since they violated restrictions.

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Two Georgian judokas have Tokyo Olympics accreditations revoked for flouting village restrictions

One of the restrictions for athletes at the Games disallows them from exiting the Olympic Village at any point in time. However, some athletes cannot fight the urge to take in the sights of the host city.

This happened with two Georgian judokas after they left the Athletes’ Village to visit their friends in the country. A Georgian official confirmed the two athletes as Vazha Margvelashvili and Lasha Shavdatuashvili.

A Japanese police officer observes the entrance of the Tokyo Olympic Main Press Center in Tokyo, Japan, July 13, 2021. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

Explaining their actions, the official said, “No-one stopped them at the exit, so they thought that they could go outside. They wanted just to have a bit of open air, to relax after a tough day of competition, after a tough lockdown period.”

However, Games spokesperson Masa Takaya mentioned their exit from the village warranted the revoking of their accreditations. Takaya said, “We took away accreditation as we believe going out of the athletes village for sightseeing is something that should not happen.”

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Both judokas clinched silver medals in the Games

Last week, Margvelashvili and Shavdatuashvili reached the finals in their respective categories in Judo. However, both judokas lost to Japanese opponents in their finals.

Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Judo – Men’s 66kg – Medal Ceremony – Nippon Budokan – Tokyo, Japan – July 25, 2021. Silver medallist Vazha Margvelashvili of Georgia reacts REUTERS/Sergio Perez

Margvelashvili lost to Hifumi Abe in the men’s 66kg final, while Shavdatuashvili lost to Shohei One in the men’s 73kg final. So far, Georgia have a gold medal, four silver medals and a bronze medal in Tokyo. Out of those four silver medals, three of them came in Judo.

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Sanket Nair

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Sanket Nair is an F1 Author at EssentiallySports. A Sports Management student, he is a huge fan of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo and hopes to see Red Bull break Mercedes' dominance and win the World Championship soon. Sanket has been hooked to the sport ever since he watched the battle for the 2010 World Championship go down to the wire at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

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