Coronavirus in UK: Elite athletes must not abuse exemption – Emily Diamond


Emily Diamond (left) hopes to represent Britain at the delayed Tokyo Olympics later this year

British athlete Emily Diamond has urged elite athletes not to abuse the exemption that allows them to train and compete during the nationwide lockdown.

The Olympic bronze medalist fears that several examples of recent failures will “ruin” for others.

In recent days, the UK government has increasingly monitored the dispensation of elite sport.

“It’s disappointing to see things that seem to be taken for granted,” she told BBC Sport.

Diamond, 29, said she was concerned that if the exemption were removed it could impact her ability to perform best at the Olympics.

She believes the FA Cup locker room celebrations last weekend were “unnecessary”.

Responding to scenes where the Chorley players were singing together after their 2-0 FA Cup third round victory over Derby, she posted on social media: “Please don’t spoil this for any sport in the world. ‘elite, football’.

Crawley’s players were also seen breaking protocols as they celebrated beating Premier League side Leeds United.

“It would be a shame if these minority videos then stop everyone,” said the 400m runner.

“I didn’t want to put all the emphasis on football, but I think because football is obviously such a big sport in the country and it has such a massive fan base and it makes most of the headlines. “

Elite athletes have also been criticized for their midseason trips to the United Arab Emirates, where Diamond is currently attending a British track and field training camp.

The UAE was on the government’s exemption list, although it was removed from the UK list of travel corridors.

Scottish champions Celtic have come under fire from Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon after a turbulent visit to Dubai. The warm-weather training trip brought a positive test for defender Christopher Jullien, who left 13 other players – as well as manager Neil Lennon and assistant John Kennedy – to self-isolate on their return to Glasgow .

A number of women’s Super League matches have also been postponed after the trip of several players from different clubs to Dubai.

“I just wanted everyone who got this exemption for elite sports not to take it for granted and spoil it for sports people who don’t take it for granted and are very strict in what they do,” Diamond said.

“Yes you can still go out on the track or go to the gym or the soccer field to practice and have your game, but once that is done you are back to the non-elite and guidelines and lockdown. . “

Diamond, who won bronze in the 400m relay at Rio 2016, said she felt in a “very privileged position” to be able to travel far from the UK and continue her preparations for Tokyo.

Responding to some negative comments from fans, claiming that the track and field athletes did not follow the protocols in Dubai, she said: “I know some people were a little disappointed to see Instagram stories and photos of the event. ‘athletes released in Dubai.

“I haven’t seen them personally myself, I want to apologize on behalf of the athletes here that if these videos were posted and disturbed people in their homes, I don’t think that’s acceptable. “

However, she pointed out that the athletes were given the same protocols to follow as in the UK and that their coronavirus tests all came back negative.

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