Tokyo Olympics to Athletes: Don’t Use 150,000 Free Condoms

In this picture taken on January 25, 2018, employees of Japanese condom maker Sagami Rubber Industries perform quality tests for randomly picked condoms at the company's testing facility in Atsugi, Kanagawa prefecture. With a little over two years until Tokyo hosts the 2020 Olympic Games, organisers are ramping up preparations, …
BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP via Getty Images

Organizers of the Tokyo Olympics confirmed on Monday plans to distribute at least 150,000 condoms to athletes at next month’s Summer Games but insisted that the contraceptives are not intended “for use at the athlete’s village.”

“The distribution of condoms is not for use at the athlete’s village, but to have athletes take them back to their home countries to raise awareness [of HIV and AIDS issues],” Tokyo 2020 representatives wrote in an email to the Reuters news agency on June 14.

“Our intent and goal is not for athletes to use the condoms at the Olympic Village, but to help with [HIV/AIDS] awareness by taking them back to their own countries,” a spokesperson for the Tokyo Olympics Organizing Committee told SoraNews24, a Tokyo-based news site, on June 2.

“[F]our Japanese manufacturers will be supplying competitors with a total of 160,000 condoms,” SoraNews24 reported at the time.

“Large numbers of condoms have been given out at the Games since the 1988 Seoul Olympics to raise awareness of HIV and AIDS, and organisers said the International Olympic Committee had requested their continued distribution [sic],” Reuters noted on Monday.

Organizers of the Tokyo Olympics first revealed plans to give out at least 150,000 condoms to athletes in February. The announcement coincided with the release of a 33-page rule book by the Olympics organizing committee banning athletes from socializing, hugging, or giving high-fives during the Games.

Olympics organizers published the “virus” rule book in an effort to “reduce the risk of infection” from the Chinese coronavirus during the 17-day event. The anti-coronavirus guidelines urged athletes to “avoid unnecessary forms of physical contact” and “limit your contact with other people as much as possible.”

This summer’s Tokyo Olympics were originally scheduled to take place last year but were postponed due to the Chinese coronavirus pandemic. The Games are set to start on July 23 and end on August 8.

The Olympics rule book published in February warned that athletes who violated the anti-virus guidelines would be disqualified from competing in their scheduled sporting events.

Tokyo Olympics athletes “must not visit gyms, tourist areas, shops, restaurants or bars,” the rule book states, adding that competitors are only allowed to visit “official Games venues and limited additional locations.”

“[A]ll movements [of the athletes] must be rigorously logged and the use of public transport is subject to permission,” Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported after reviewing the rulebook.

“They [athletes] are also advised to wear masks at all times except when they are competing, training, eating, sleeping or outside in open space,” AFP noted.

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