Sir Mo Farah: Athletes have been told they will receive vaccines before Olympics

Jamie Gardner, PA Chief Sports Reporter
·2-min read

Sir Mo Farah believes the Olympic Games will go ahead this summer and says athletes have been told they will receive vaccinations against Covid-19.

Farah, who has won 5,000 and 10,000 metres gold at each of the last two Games in London and Rio, has previously said he is targeting success in the longer distance only in Tokyo.

However, the Games are again under threat from the coronavirus pandemic, which were originally postponed by 12 months in March last year.

The idea of vaccinating athletes has been floated by International Olympic Committee member Dick Pound, and Farah told talkSPORT: “I think most people in a career want to go to an Olympics and take part in an Olympics.

“The key thing is to stay safe and see what the country can do. What they have said to us is basically everyone will be able to get Covid injections and after that it’s less risk of spreading the disease, and then from there just see what happens and take one day at a time.

“I think (the Games) will go ahead but at the same time, for me I have had the experience of taking part in three Olympics and I have to see it as another race and see what happens.”

It is understood the British Olympic Association is not involved in any active conversations with the Government in regard to vaccinating athletes.

A spokesperson for the BOA said: “As we have clearly stated, the priority at this time remains the vulnerable, elderly and front line workers.

“We have not spoken to any athletes about vaccinations as we await a clearer understanding of the programme’s roll-out.”

IOC president Thomas Bach remains adamant the Games will go ahead this summer
IOC president Thomas Bach remains adamant the Games will go ahead this summer (Mike Egerton/PA)

IOC president Thomas Bach has previously said there is “no reason whatsoever” to further delay the Games, which are due to start on July 23.

The Games organisers and the IOC have stated vaccinations are not mandatory for entry to Japan but are encouraging countries to get their delegates vaccinated where possible.

The IOC is understood to be working with the World Health Organisation and the Covax group on how vaccines are being distributed globally, to ensure some athletes are not put at a competitive disadvantage compared to others.