Romania shut out of the European Throwing Cup due to a case of COVID-19 in the team
The European Throwing Cup is an annual athletics competition in Europe centered around sporting events like discus, javelin, hammer throwing, and shot put. This tournament started in 2001 in Nice, France, and has since then become a very important event for athletes before the Outdoor Athletics season.
Unfortunately, the Romanian team was one of the two that could not compete in the tournament. This decision came on the second day of the competition after one of the athletes was diagnosed with COVID-19 over the weekend. It was a similar case for Ukraine, which was not allowed to participate in the European Throwing Cup competition after a coach came down with COVID-19. Meanwhile, every member of both teams had tested negative before leaving for Croatia.
New Variants Causing Problems
With the worsening effect of the newer variants of the Coronavirus, EA brought in more COVID-19 officers to supervise sanitary protocols and ensure compliance. It was one of these officers who double as a doctor that decided to suspend the Romanian team. It was a tough decision but got nods from the local authorities and relevant personnel as the risk of infecting other athletes and officials is quite high.
These measures were outcomes of the experience during the last European Indoor Athletics Championships in Torun a few months ago. The tournament was quite successful until the participatory teams started to test positive to COVID-19 when they got back to their home country. Ten athletes in the British team tested positive to COVID-19 after the competition. It was a similar scenario for Dutch, Ukrainian, Poland, and the Belgian team.
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Rules & Protocols Already Very Strict!
EA’s interim president Dobromir Karamarinov made it known that the rules and protocols were strict enough, but the athletes chose to disregard the rules on the last day of the event. He also emphasizes the personal responsibility of national officials, team officials, athletes, and their coaches to ensure adherence to them.
Before the European Throwing Cup, there were also many education programs, webinars, and other avenues of enlightening member federations on enjoying the sports without reducing the fight against Coronavirus. For instance, there have been over 1,069,770 cases of the virus in Romania. So with all of these measures and sanitary plans in place, it was important for the EA to take a very strong decision on the few COVID-19 cases. After one of the Romanian team members tested positive, every other member could not leave their hotel room. They could not continue in the tournament and had to later fly from Croatia back home.
Researching for Weak Points
The federation had to do their research to find the weak points responsible for such instantaneous change in COVID-19 status. These are some of the aspects picked to improve on in subsequent editions.
Weak operational points like the airports and hotels
Hotel staff, physios, and doctors who are in contact with the athletes, and the The next tournament will include measures to surpass these weak points and avoid the embarrassment and waste of time that countries like Romania had to face over the weekend.