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Turkey Corona Update: Boxers, Coach test positive after Tokyo Olympic qualifier

Organisers said they had taken all precautions and that no teams had reported corona virus symptoms at the event

Thursday March 26, 2020 6:20 PM, IANS

Turkey Coronavirus Update

Istanbul: The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has been labelled "irresponsible" after the Turkish Boxing Federation revealed two fighters and a coach who took part in a Tokyo 2020 qualifying event in London earlier this month had since tested positive for COVID-19.

Turkish Boxing Federation president Eyup Gozgec told BBC Sport that organisers failed to take the outbreak seriously enough and "didn't care".

"I just want to know, when the whole world was on high alert, why they hosted this event?" he asked adding, "We didn't see any hygienic standards there. There were no preventative measures."

The Boxing Road to Tokyo competition at the Copper Box was cancelled after three days because of the coronavirus pandemic.

'IOC Boxing Task Force irresponsible'

In a letter sent to the board members of the European Boxing Confederation (EUBC), and accessed by the BBC, Gozgec wrote: "Two of our athletes (and a coach) have tested positive for (Covid-19) after returning to Turkey from London. All of them are in treatment now and thankfully are in good condition.

"This is the disastrous result of the irresponsibility of the IOC Boxing Task Force", he wrote.

Gozgec added that he now plans to write to all European boxing associations asking if any of their teams at the event have since tested positive.

"The organisers were irresponsible, and I think they didn't realise the severity of the issue so they just didn't care," he said.

'IOC didn't take Corona Outbreak seriously'

"They just didn't take this outbreak seriously and they didn't care about it. They did no tests for us. They just told us to go. They dropped us at the airport and that was it", he said.

"They knew they were going to have to cancel -- why go with it? The health of our athletes and staff is our priority", he added.

The Organisers on the other said they had taken all precautions and that no teams had reported symptoms at the event.

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics has been postponed due to Coronavirus outbreak. While announcing the postponement, Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Tuesday that he has reached an agreement with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to hold the Games in 2021.

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