On a day when the International Olympic Committee (IOC) published a ‘playbook’, outlining the conditions for the 11,000-odd athletes and thousands of others, the government said all Indian athletes who will compete at the Tokyo Games will be vaccinated before leaving the country.

In January, the IOC initiated talks with all participating countries regarding emergency access to Covid-19 vaccines for the Tokyo-bound athletes, support staff and officials. Sports minister Kiren Rijiju, on Wednesday, said while the overall priority list will be set by the health ministry, the sports department will prioritise athletes and trainers when their turn comes.

“The government’s policy is very clear. First of all, the vaccine will be provided to warriors… the medical and security people. Our Olympic-bound athletes and their trainers will be provided priority in our ministry but overall priority is set by Ministry of Health,” Rijiju said on the sidelines of a Fit India event.

Sports secretary Ravi Mittal added that athletes will receive the vaccination before the Games. “They will all be vaccinated before they go for the Olympics, whoever goes. We will also take into account the time between two doses and everything else,” Mital said.

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