Tokyo Olympics 2021: Indian Athletes to Wear Unbranded Apparel after furore over Chinese Sponsors

The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) on Tuesday decided that the nation’s athletes would wear unbranded Sports Apparel ahead of the marquee event that will start on 23rd July 2021.

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This news was confirmed by Dr. Narinder Batra and Secretary-general Rajeev Mehta in an official statement.

“We are aware of the emotions of our fans and we in an IOA have decided that we will withdraw from our existing contract with an apparel sponsor. Our athletes, coaches, and support staff will wear unbranded apparel.”

“We are thankful for guidance by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports in making this decision and we would like our athletes to be able to train and compete without having to answer questions about the apparel brand. As it is, they have all been challenged by the pandemic over the past year and a quarter and we want them to not be distracted,” the statement said.

The IOA officials further stated that they were aware of the dedicated effort put together by our nation’s athletes in the upcoming Tokyo Olympics 2021.

“We have had an excellent synergy in the ecosystem within IOA, National Sports Federations, Government and other stakeholders coming together as one,” Batra and Mehta said in their statement.

Talking to ANI, one of the sources close to IOA stated that there were issues related to the Chinese sponsors and that’s why IOA has been advised to not include Chinese sponsors.