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IOC face criticism after two Turkish boxers contract COVID-19 after Tokyo 2020 qualifier in London

Olympic chiefs came under fresh criticism on Wednesday night after it emerged two Turkish boxers and their head coach tested positive for coronavirus after returning from a Tokyo qualifying event in London.

The European tournament in front of a crowd at the Copper Box Arena began on March 14 despite most other sport in this country having already been postponed by that date.

It was suspended three days later but the president of the Turkish Boxing Federation has slammed the ‘irresponsible’ International Olympic Committee for even allowing it to take place.

Eyup Gozgec said: ‘I am baffled that an IOC taskforce and the British Government allowed the tournament to start even though many of us had concerns and almost every other sport had shut down. 

‘It was irresponsible and as a result, unfortunately, three of our team have now tested positive.’

IOC president Thomas Bach refused to apologise for his handling of the IOC’s response to the coronavirus crisis, in which they did not even mention the prospect of postponement until Sunday. 

That led to widespread criticism from athletes and nations, with Canada and Australia announcing they would boycott the Olympics if they took place as planned.

The IOC announced on Tuesday that the rescheduled Games would be held ‘no later than summer 2021’. It was widely assumed they would begin next July, a year later than planned. 

New dates have not yet been confirmed. 

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