During the IOC’s Refugee Olympic Team testing, former distance runner Tegla Loroupe, chief of mission, tested positive for COVID-19 according to exclusive reports by The Associated Press.
Loroupe tested positive as the IOC’s Refugee Olympic Team was preparing to leave their training base in Doha, Qatar for Tokyo. Because of Loroupe’s positive test, the team will be delayed in arriving in Tokyo for the opening ceremony on Friday. According to the sources, Loroupe is expected to stay behind, as the team departs in the next few days. They requested anonymity because they were not authorized to disclose medical information.
A few days ago, the International Olympic Committee issued a statement saying that an unnamed “official” of the Refugee Team delegation had tested positive. There were 26 other athletes and officials at Doha who tested negative for the virus according to the IOC. Loroupe’s COVID-19 positive test is the latest in a long line of athletes, officials, and others who have tested positive.
The Tokyo Olympics will open on Friday following a delay of one year caused by the pandemic. Two athletes who were staying in the Olympic Village in Tokyo have tested positive, organizers confirmed on Sunday. These athletes are the first to test positive in the village.
In the five years since its introduction at the Rio Olympics, the IOC has heavily promoted the Refugee Olympic Team, a humanitarian gesture that started with a 10-person team.