Tokyo 2021 Olympics

The organizers of the 2021 Tokyo Olympics have revealed that they will free up the qualification process for all athletes whose bans expire in 2020.

A commuter leaves a train station adorned with posters promoting the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Monday, March 23, 2020. The IOC will take up to four weeks to consider postponing the Tokyo Olympics amid mounting criticism of its handling of the coronavirus crisis that now includes a call for delay from the leader of track and field, the biggest sport at the games. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) head Brett Clothier explained this new development – saying – doping bans are based on time periods and not events, a major reason the individuals could take part.

Since an agreement between the International Olympic Committee and the Japanese government was reached to postpone the Games to 2021 because of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the athletes’ involvement has been a hot topic.

Talking up the situation, Clothier added that if there were any changes concerning the bans, it would lead to legal complications.

“The standard penalty under the WADA code for doping is a four-year ban,” Clothier said. “And that’s been designed that way to tie in with the Olympic cycle.

“But in this case, of course, it’s an anomaly that the Olympics have moved so some athletes will benefit from that.

“It’s an unfortunate situation but one that is very clear under the legal framework so the ban is based on time and not tied to particular events.”

Uganda at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics

According to Uganda Athletics Federation (UAF) President Dominic Otuchet, Uganda is targeting a group 25 to 30 athletes to feature in track and road events.

Meanwhile, Ugandan boxer Shadiri Bwogi qualified for the finals, after earning a box-off victory to secure a spot in the men’s welterweight division at the 2020 African Qualification Tournament in Diamniadio, Senegal.

He joined rower Grace Kathleen Noble who made it to the event category as a first Ugandan – having finished number one in the B final at the 2019 FISA African Olympic Qualification Regatta in Tunis, Tunisia with a record time of 8 minutes and 36 seconds.

Grace Noble Kathleen is one of Uganda’s athletes already qualified for the Olympics Credit: Courtesy

Next year’s Tokyo Olympics will officially open on 23 July and last till 8 August 2021. Paralympics will then follow from 24 August to 5 September 2021.

Deputy Editor at Kawowo Sports. He is an aspiring Sport Psychologist.

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