• IOC President Thomas Bach inside the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Stadium. Photo Tokyo 2020.
    IOC President Thomas Bach inside the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Stadium. Photo Tokyo 2020.
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Inside the Games. By Liam Morgan.

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach has encouraged athletes to have a COVID-19 vaccination before the postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympics but insisted it would not be an entry requirement for the Games.

Bach, speaking during his first visit to Japan since the global health crisis hit, said making a vaccination for COVID-19 mandatory for athletes wanting to take part at the Games would be "going too far".

The IOC President claimed taking a coronavirus vaccine would be a "free decision" for athletes and others involved in the event, but said they should do so as a "sign of respect" for other competitors and the host nation.

"We will encourage athletes that whenever possible they have the vaccination because it is better for their health, and it is also a demonstration of solidarity with their fellow athletes and also the Japanese people," Bach said.

Bach yesterday suggested the IOC will shoulder some of the costs for vaccinating participants at Tokyo 2020, pushed back to 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Read the full story at Inside the Games.

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