Olympic athletes are topic to GPS monitoring

Olympic athletes will be subject to GPS monitoring, as will members of the media, said Toshiro Muto, CEO of the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee.

Muto also said at a press conference that the surveillance system will not be used to track every single move the Olympians make, but rather to track them retrospectively in the event of a problem.

Tokyo is slated to host the once postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympics on July 23, amid fears the global event will put a strain on a medical system already strained by the coronavirus pandemic.

About 6,000 reporters visiting Japan for the Olympics are required to provide a detailed list of the areas they will visit in Japan, such as sports venues and hotels, in the first two weeks.

And Mr Muto said smartphone tracking technology would be used to make sure they only get where they are supposed to.

“If they were going to places outside of their intended destinations with GPS it would become very clear,” he said.

“If they go where they don’t belong, we’re definitely concerned that it would increase the risk.”

Reporters are being asked to stay in designated hotels rather than private accommodations, he added.

The number of hotels will be reduced from the originally planned 350 to around 150, he said, as the organizers try to keep visitors under close supervision.

“Given the current state of the pandemic, I think this is a tolerable restriction on activities,” Muto said.

The GPS plans are detailed in updated rulebooks that will be released shortly.

Athletes are also subjected to strict movement restrictions and tested for the virus on a daily basis.

Overseas fans have already been banned from attending the event, and organizers will decide later this month how many domestic viewers, if any, will be able to see the competitions.

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