Sydney, August 11: The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) on Wednesday stated that the South Australian Government’s decision to ignore expert medical advice and the decision of the National Cabinet by imposing a 28-day Quarantine period for returning Australian Olympians poses a significant mental health risk for those athletes.
“The fully vaccinated Australian Olympic Team has returned home and is currently undergoing the mandatory quarantine arrangements at hotels and facilities around Australia, as any other Australian is required to do. No special treatment has been sought,” AOC stated in a release. “However, the South Australian Government has chosen to impose a further mandatory quarantine period when South Australian athletes return from hotel quarantine in Sydney, effectively inflicting a 28-day Quarantine period for athletes at a time of mental and emotional vulnerability,” statement added.
Notably, South Australia is the only state to do this. There are 56 team members returning to South Australia with 16 currently quarantined in Sydney.
AOC Chief Executive Officer Matt Carroll says the decision flies in the face of the expert medical advice of the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) Chief Medical Officer Dr David Hughes that the mental health of athletes can be severely challenged after returning from a highly constrained Tokyo Games environment into the further isolation of extended lockdown.
“While other countries are celebrating the return of their athletes, we are subjecting ours to the most cruel and uncaring treatment. They are being punished for proudly representing their country with distinction at the Olympic Games,” said Carroll.