Joint Communique from the International Olympic Committee and the Nanjing Youth Olympic Games Organizing Committee

Lausanne, August 15: Our thoughts are firstly with those who have been touched by the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa and the suffering of those affected and their families.

With regard to ensuring the safety of all those participating in the Youth Olympic Games and the people of the city of Nanjing we have been working closely with the Chinese health authorities and under the guidance of the World Health Organization (WHO). We have been reassured by the health authorities that there have been no suspected cases and that the risk of infection is extremely unlikely.

Together we have developed a policy which balances the health needs of all, with respect for the rights of the young athletes from the region:
• The organizing committee has made it clear that all delegations are welcome to the Games and each country is free to take their own decision on attendance.
• Those from the region will be subject to regular temperature and physical assessment throughout the period.
• Based on health authority guidelines it has been decided that athletes from affected areas will not compete in combat sports. (2 athletes)
• Additionally, based on the inability to completely exclude the risk of potential infection it was also decided that no athletes from the region would compete in the pool.(1 athlete)
• In accordance with WHO guidelines the Chinese authorities are fully prepared should any outbreak occur.
We regret that due to this issue some young athletes may have suffered twice, both from the anguish caused by the outbreak in their home countries and by not being able to compete in the Youth Olympic Games.

The IOC and Organizing Committee will therefore offer to each of the National Olympic Committees affected, if they wish, that their national flag will be brought into the stadium at the opening ceremony and will be hoisted at the venues.

The athletes who have not been able to participate will also receive in the near future an invitation from the IOC and the organizing committee to come to Nanjing to take part in a sporting competition and to experience the welcoming atmosphere and spirit of the city and Jiangsu province. —- IOC

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