World Triathlon executive board has approved the “comprehensive and exhaustive” World Triathlon COVID-19 prevention guidelines for Event Organisers document. These Guidelines are designed to help event organizers cope efficiently and effectively with COVID-19’s “new normality.” The recommendations have been prepared by the sport department with feedback from the Technical, Medical, Athletes and Coaches committee, as well as the recommendations for social gatherings from the World Health Organization.
“I am absolutely proud of the excellent work done by the World Triathlon team on putting in place this comprehensive Guide, which will help organizers all across the world to plan for their events in the near future”, expressed World Triathlon president and IOC member, Marisol Casado. “Obviously we will all be impacted by this crisis, and our events will look different from now on, but everyone should understand that all these measures are to protect the health and safety of everyone involved in our events, from athletes to spectators, coaches and officials”, she said.
The IOC and the World Health Organization have advised that during the evolving COVID-19 outbreak, effective protection of the health and safety of athletes must remain a priority. Event organizers must ensure all athletes are covered by adequate measures to protect their health and that they have access to prompt medical care while participating in the event. Event organizers must put in place preventive measures to stop the transmission of infection and put in place mitigation measures to minimize the risk of infection. Event organizers must ensure that any athlete or participant in an event on their territory, who needs immediate medical care, is given access to medical facilities.
Amongst others, the recommendations include the monitoring, at events, of participants’ health, and the daily taking of body temperature. The use of masks and gloves is also recommended in all non-competition activities.
Each local organizing committee should prepare a plan with the local authorities covering three stages: Risk assessment, Surveillance and Response, and the venue design should respect social distancing and hygiene provisions. Social activities, other than the competition itself, should be cancelled. the Guidelines will also have an impact on medal ceremonies and race briefings. Going forward, every single aspect of the competition will be reviewed taking into consideration the social distancing in the: start, swim, swim exit, bike, run, finish, penalty boxes, aid stations, etc.
Anyone, including athletes, coaches, technical officials, media or spectators, who feels unwell (i.e. fever, cough) should stay at home and keep away from the event. In case of symptoms suggestive of acute respiratory illness before, during or after travel, the athletes are encouraged to seek medical attention and share travel history with their healthcare provider.
While the advice given in these guidelines has been developed using the best information available, it is intended purely as guidance, and its application will depend on the current local authorities restrictions in place in the town/city where the event will take place. World Triathlon sport department will work with all event organizers to implement in the most effective way these recommendations.