2 Georgian Athletes Have Accreditation Revoked After Leaving Olympic Village

Blake SchusterContributor IJuly 31, 2021

Buildings in the Olympic and Paralympic Village for the Tokyo 2020 Games in Tokyo, Japan, on July 31, 2021. Coronavirus cases directly associated with the Olympics have remained relatively low and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga denied on Thursday that the event caused the surge in the rest of the country. Photographer: Noriko Hayashi/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Noriko Hayashi/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Georgian Olympic Committee confirmed two of their athletes had their accreditation revoked from the Olympic Village after they left the premises to visit friends in Tokyo. 

Vazha Margvelashvili, 27, and Lasha Shavdatuashvili, 29, reportedly left the grounds to meet with one of their "acquaintances" living in Japan. Both athletes were competing in judo. Margvelashvili won the silver medal in the men's 66kg weight class, while Shavdatuashvili earned the silver in the men's 73kg division. 

"We took away accreditation, as we believe going out of the athletes' village for sightseeing is something that should not happen," Tokyo 2020 spokesman Masanori Takaya told reporters Saturday. 

The two athletes have already returned to their home country, as is mandatory within 48 hours of completing their final event.  

"No one stopped them at the exit, so they thought that they could go outside," a Georgian official said. "They wanted just to have a bit of open air, to relax after a tough day of competition, after a tough lockdown period."

While no guards were on site, the pair were spotted leaving the Olympic Village and their country acknowledged the unsanctioned activities shortly after. 

Parts of Japan remain under a state of emergency because of a surge in coronavirus cases.