Sports Agency commissioner calls for more support for athletes

In the wake of a suit violation in the ski jumping event and discontent over competition rules at the Beijing Winter Olympics, Japan Sports Agency Commissioner Koji Murofushi said Tuesday he supports policy changes that will allow domestic sports associations to respond quickly to situations in which athletes are disadvantaged when taking part in international sports events.

“Other countries are legally well prepared, allowing them to react to all sorts of cases and to protest when necessary,” Murofushi said during a meeting of the agency’s sports council. “I won’t rest easy unless we can dispatch athletes [to international events] with such preparations in place.”

Murofushi suggested the new policy should be included in the agency’s third Sport Basic Plan, which lays out guidelines for sports associations from fiscal 2022 to fiscal 2025.

Sara Takanashi of Japan and four other athletes were disqualified for suit violations in the ski jumping mixed team event on Feb. 7