Tokyo Olympics 2021: Athletes face sex ban at Games to prevent possible COVID-19 spread

  • 04/12/2020

Olympic athletes face a sex ban at Tokyo next year, with organisers announcing any physical contact between competitors would be prohibited to avoid the spread of COVID-19.

At previous Games, the Olympic Village has become notorious for casual lovemaking between competitors. At Rio 2016, 450,000 condoms were reportedly dished out over the 17-day event, averaging 42 per contestant.   

But that behaviour won't be tolerated in Japan, after Tokyo 2020 chief executive Toshiro Muto unveiled plans for athletes to sign a code of conduct.

The declaration would prevent athletes from making physical contact or speaking loudly, and they would need to wear masks when not training or competing.

Athletes must also test negative for COVID-19 less than 72 hours before arriving for the Olympics and will be tested "every 96-120 hours" during the Games.

Once finished competing, the athletes will need to leave Japan, but the lack of sex will likely worry athletes the most, considering how much has gone on in years past. 

"This is not a law, but we need to be careful and ask people to layout precautions," says Muto.

Anyone found in breach of the code could face punishment, although penalties have yet to be determined. 

Some athletes believe that engaging in sex or masturbation can increase their performance. 

In 2012, former mixed martial arts fighter Ronda Rousey revealed that she tried to have "as much sex as possible" before a fight, since it has been linked to higher testosterone levels in women.

Earlier this year, heavyweight boxer Tyson Fury revealed he masturbated seven times a day in the lead-up to his fight against Deontay Wilder to keep his "testosterone pumping".

Many studies have been conducted on how sex could affect athletic performance, although the reports generally offer mixed outcomes or results. 

The beds athletes will be sleeping on.
The beds athletes will be sleeping on. Photo credit: Reuters

Before coronavirus changed the world, there were fears how Olympic athletes could have sex, after organisers revealed they'd be sleeping on bed frames made of cardboard and mattresses made of plastic to reduce the event's carbon footprint.

But the manufacturers say the beds are nowhere near as flimsy as they sound and won't collapse during sex, as long as they limit themselves to two in a bed. 

Arrivals to Japan must currently quarantine for 14 days, but athletes and other key stakeholders attending the Games will be exempt from those restrictions.

Tokyo 2020 was postponed in March as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the Olympics now scheduled for July 23-August 8 and the Paralympics for August 24-September 5. 

New Zealand is projected to send more than 200 athletes to the Tokyo Games.