Istanbul, March 26: The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has been labelled “irresponsible” after the Turkish Boxing Federation revealed two fighters and a coach who took part in a Tokyo 2020 qualifying event in London earlier this month had since tested positive for COVID-19.
Turkish Boxing Federation president Eyup Gozgec told BBC Sport that organisers failed to take the outbreak seriously enough and “didn’t care”.
He added: “I just want to know, when the whole world was on high alert, why they hosted this event?
“We didn’t see any hygienic standards there. There were no preventative measures.”
The Boxing Road to Tokyo competition at the Copper Box was cancelled after three days because of the pandemic.
In a letter sent to the board members of the European Boxing Confederation (EUBC), and accessed by the BBC, Gozgec wrote: “Two of our athletes (and a coach) have tested positive for (Covid-19) after returning to Turkey from London. All of them are in treatment now and thankfully are in good condition.
“This is the disastrous result of the irresponsibility of the IOC Boxing Task Force.”
Gozgec added that he now plans to write to all European boxing associations asking if any of their teams at the event have since tested positive.
“The organisers were irresponsible, and I think they didn’t realise the severity of the issue so they just didn’t care,” he said.
“They just didn’t take this outbreak seriously and they didn’t care about it. They did no tests for us. They just told us to go. They dropped us at the airport and that was it.”
He added: “They knew they were going to have to cancel — why go with it? The health of our athletes and staff is our priority.”
Organisers said they had taken all precautions and that no teams had reported symptoms at the event.