How Team GB came dangerously close to missing the Tokyo Olympics.
TEAM GB’s incredible medal haul was preserved at the last minute when a Northern Ireland company stepped in to meet Japan’s stringent testing requirements.
The 1,015 British athletes should credit Randox for establishing the testing program that allowed them to arrive to Tokyo in less than a month, with 20 gold medals and 63 medals overall in fifth position.
Randox, the UK’s largest health diagnostics company, came in two days before the contract deadline in May, with a capacity of 500,000 tests per day.
With the epidemic still raging earlier this year, the delay was created by uncertainty about whether competitors would be required to vaccinate and if the Games would go ahead at all.
Many athletes were hesitant to get the shot because they were worried it would damage their physician’s performance.
After completing thousands of tests for 1,015 persons associated to the British squad, Randox was able to deliver the first tests in less than a month, resulting in only one member of the British team being unable to travel.
“It was a wonderful testing setting in the end,” David Ferguson, who oversees the operational side of Randox’s Team GB testing, said.
“We were given a series of standards specified by the Japanese government for an individual to enter the nation, and it was complicated,” he continued.
“So we set about putting all of our different teams together to create a bespoke service that Team GB could use, complete with specialized reports and moderated websites for various sports.
“Where to get the tests, including training camps and people’s homes, and then turn them around in 96 hours, was a question.
“It was challenging, but our capacity and courier system made it possible.”
Randox produces 4.2 billion tests for various diseases each year and employs 2,000 people worldwide, including roughly 500 scientists.
It now performs roughly 20% of all covid tests in the UK, having increased its capacity from 1,000 per week in May to 500,000 per day.
It was able to bring athletes to Tokyo in part thanks to a “plan B” of testing facilities at airports like as Manchester, Stansted, and East Midlands.