Two male judoka from Georgia have been ejected from the Tokyo Olympics for leaving the athletes village to go sightseeing in violation of COVID-19 protocols, a spokesperson for the country's Olympic committee said Saturday.
It is the first time that participants of the Olympics have been stripped of accreditation since the games began July 23, the organizing committee said. The two are silver medalists Vazha Margvelashvili and Lasha Shavdatuashvili, according to the spokesperson.
Rules for Olympic participants, known as the "playbook," states athletes "must only leave your accommodation to go to official games venues and limited additional locations that you have outlined in your activity plan, as defined by the list of permitted destinations."
Athletes are prohibited from walking around the city and visiting tourist areas, shops, restaurants, bars or gyms, and must not use public transport, according to the playbook, which lists warnings, temporary or permanent withdrawal of accreditation and disqualification as potential penalties for offenders.
Margvelashvili lost to Japan's Hifumi Abe in the 66-kilogram final last Sunday, while Shavdatuashvili fell to Shohei Ono in the 73-kg final on Monday.
A media report said the two were spotted Tuesday night wearing their Georgian team uniforms taking photos near Tokyo Tower with several other people.
A spokesman for the organizing committee of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, Masanori Takaya, said at a press briefing Saturday it was an "egregious case" of rule-breaking and the offenders, who he declined to identify, are no longer allowed to enter Olympic facilities.
The previous day, Takaya said organizers have suspended the credentials of a "not insignificant number" of participants without specifying how many, and that four electricians from overseas who were arrested prior to the games on suspicion of using cocaine were also stripped of their accreditation.