Turkey and IOC flags

Turkey accuses IOC after two athletes become infected with coronavirus

At least one boxer and his coach have tested positive for the coronavirus after returning from a competition in London, which the IOC and the British government refused to cancel.

Turkey has accused the International Olympic Committee (IOC) of irresponsibility after a Turkish boxer and his coach were infected with the coronavirus during a qualifying competition held this month in London.

As reported by the Turkish Boxing Federation on its website, professional boxer Serhat Güler and coach Seyfullah Dumlupınar have reportedly tested positive for COVID-19 after attending the tournament, held at the London’s Copper Box Arena and qualifying for the Olympic Games, with the participation of boxers from 40 different countries.

“As the world took extreme measures to tackle the virus, I am puzzled that IOC officials and the British government allowed the tournament to start even though many of us had concerns, and that almost all other sports had been cancelled,” president of the Turkish federation, Eyüp Gözgeç, told the British newspaper The Guardian on Wednesday.

Gözgeç, who is also vice president of the European Boxing Confederation, points out that the tournament continued for three days despite the fact that most sporting events had been cancelled by the pandemic. A boxer and his coach tested positive on their return to Turkey, while two other Turkish boxers who participated in the tournament and who have high fever are being monitored.

“The IOC did not take into account people’s health”

“They are all under treatment now and luckily they are well. This is the disastrous result of the irresponsibility of those responsible for the IOC. This virus has been circulating since December 2019, therefore it is inevitable to ask: why the event was not postponed? They did not take anyone’s health into consideration, which led them to organise this horrible event,” said Gözgeç.

Worldwide, the coronavirus pandemic has already infected nearly half a million people and caused more than 22,000 deaths, prompting the IOC this week to postpone the Tokyo Olympics. In Turkey, there are already 2,433 infected with the virus and 59 deaths have been registered, one of the latest being a young woman of only 33 years who suffered from a rheumatic disease and who had suffered from a high fever for 20 days. On March 24th she was admitted to a hospital, where she died.