Athletics: Failure to follow rules led to COVID cases after Torun meet - European Athletics

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(Reuters) - A number of athletes who tested positive for COVID-19 upon their return home from the European Indoor Championships in Torun, Poland earlier this month did not follow strict health and safety protocols while in the country, European Athletics said on Friday.

European Athletics said it had been informed of several positive cases detected after the end of the March 4-7 event, following tests conducted on competitors on arrival in their respective countries.

It added that it had established a strict medical and sanitary protocol for the meet and had tested 1,920 people, including athletes, member federation staff and volunteers.

"Upon further investigation, all the positive cases that have been communicated to date can be traced back to two hotels where the affected teams were staying, although not all teams staying in these hotels posted positive cases," European Athletics said in a statement https://european-athletics.com/news/european-athletics-statement-on-positive-covid-19-cases-following-torun-2021.

"There have been no positive cases reported by member federations, or event staff, officials, volunteers or guests staying in the other hotels.

"Unfortunately the investigation also uncovered that the aforementioned strict sanitary protocol that should also have been followed in team hotels was not always fully respected."

The governing body of European athletics said it has a moral duty and obligation to provide a safe environment for athletes and staff at events it organises, but respect for health and safety rules is the personal responsibility individuals.

"European Athletics will now fully review and revise our sanitary procedures and protocol based on the experience of Torun in order to enhance and improve the protocol for future European Athletics events," it added.

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)