The Tokyo 2020 Olympics were to be marked by the Covid-19. And before the opening ceremony was held, contagions among athletes have become the main protagonists of the event. Especially the outbreak that has been detected in the delegation of the Czech Republic, whose health crisis has reached the Czech government itself and which has left one of the team’s doctors identified as a denialist.

Czech Republic has so far accumulated a total of six positives. In beach volleyball, Ondrej Perusic and Markéta Nausch Sluková have been positive; In table tennis Pavel Sirucek has also been infected and among the coaches, the women’s volleyball coach, Simon Nausch, has not managed to escape the outbreak either. The cyclist Michal Schlegel and the doctor Vlastimil Vorácek are the other two names affected.

The latter, however, is the one who has taken all the blame. Czech media claim that he traveled to Tokyo without vaccinating, as it was not an obligation for him International Olympic Committee. And the newspaper library, in addition, has linked him with denialist postulates or hoaxes to face Covid-19. The doctor remains silent while trying not to increase infections, but the criticisms that await him are not few.

The flag bearer of the Czech Republic during the Olympics ceremony

Reuters

The matter has even reached the Czech government, aware of the media impact that everything that happens in the Olympic Games has. Prime Minister Andrej Babis has spoken of “scandal” and the Health Minister, Adam Vojtěch, has confirmed that there is already a investigation open. “A thorough epidemiological investigation needs to be done. It will show how it spread among athletes and if all measures were followed.”

In addition, he has shown his discomfort at the position of the doctor: “It makes me very sad that a unvaccinated doctor has traveled with our athletes to such a crucial event. “A statement that, coming from a political position, reaffirms the pressure on Vorácek. The Games, despite everything, continue with their roadmap waiting to determine if there are casualties in the team Czech.

Controversial doctor

It is the great sign. And not just for his own government, who without naming him publicly has hinted that he is the one who may have caused this health crisis in the Olympic team. Vlastimil Vorácek is one of the doctors from the Czech Republic delegation. A name with some sporting experience in the country and that, for example, has been linked to women’s tennis. However, it is his denialist profile that has placed him at the center of all the criticism. And more considering that it is suspected that he was the one who started the outbreak in the delegation.

Voracek has been a victim of the newspaper library in the last hours. The searches on his name have not taken long to bear fruit and all of them reflect certain postulates about the coronavirus that do not give much security. VorácekFor example, he supported the technique of gargling to eliminate viruses such as Covid-19. In an article published in October 2020, on the portal Vitalia.cz, stated that “gargle with regular mouthwash can significantly affect the transmission of the coronavirus“.

Some statements that Czech media have recovered and that are not the only ones. Days later, and in the same portal, the doctor defended the good results of the intake of infusions that would improve the levels of C vitamin in patients because it could “protect for several weeks” from different diseases, including Covid.

Despite this, he has been part of the expedition to the Czech Republic. And, with six infections at the moment, it has become the great signal by the country’s authorities. So much so that this message from the Minister of Health for his participation leaves his continuity in the delegation in a very bad place.

A man wearing a mask leaning in front of the Tokyo National Stadium

A man wearing a mask leaning in front of the Tokyo National Stadium

REUTERS

The excuse with the IOC

The olympic games Such They were going to be marked by the way of facing the fight against Covid-19. The marked protocol and the respect on the part of the athletes would be some of the most representative details of this edition. It was not for less. In Japan, with a large part of the population against the celebration, a kind of 24 hour surveillance in which any athlete can be photographed and sanctioned for breaching the protocol. Even in Spain, through the COE, it has been made clear that it is impossible to maintain zero risk of contagion.

For this reason, the International Olympic Committee took a proactive attitude to promote vaccination among athletes. He even came to an agreement with Pfizer which, for example, led the Spanish Olympians to receive the vaccine before going to Tokyo. However, the fact of going vaccinated remained a simple recommendation. The debate was long-lasting and was present months before the Games: to get vaccinated as an obligation or not. And finally the “no” won. There were countries that gave preference to athletes, others that let their turn come and others that, directly, were not in favor of their delegations coming with vaccines.

And it is there, in that recommendation, where the excuse of the Czech Republic is based. From the delegation the concern about what happened has been transferred, but it has been made clear that getting vaccinated was not mandatory and that, therefore, the controversial doctor has not breached any rule that implies sanction. The reality is that participating vaccinated was a recommendation with the aim of giving greater security to both athletes and the Japanese population itself. However, in the case of the Czech Republic it may have led to this controversial outbreak.

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