Coni asks the IOC to give the bronze medal also to Bruno Rosetti, who found positive for coronavirus immediately before the race
Pandemic games we should all be better, like at Christmas. Even those of the IOC, which in the collective imagination are a cross between the Specter and the ice-hearted Scrooge of fairy tales under the tree, should put a hand on their conscience. And consider the request of the Coni, which, appealing to a regulation not yet updated to Covid and its complexity, took its first steps at the judging commission of Tokyo 2020 to give an unfortunate athlete what his teammates have achieved without him. A bronze medal.
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Bruno Rosetti from Ravenna is a 33-year-old rower who has been locked up in a Covid hotel in Tokyo since last morning, and who knows how long he will stay there before returning home. At least 12 days according to the procedure. He is not a sports star, he is not Federer or Messi. He is an athlete who worked on a Caspian oil tanker, harvested tomatoes and served as a waiter in Australia to earn a living, before returning to his boyish passion three years ago in view of what was supposed to be the rendezvous of life. .
There was an hour left for the final of 4 without. Nicola Pucci, the federal doctor, knocked on the door of room 1201 of the Italia building in the Olympic Village. “I’m sorry, you tested positive for salivary head, they transfer you somewhere else.” Undergone other similar tests, then a molecular swab in the afternoon, when it was all over. Always the same outcome. He was not even able to greet his comrades. They left favorites. In the world of rowing, it was supposed to be a golden day. It didn’t happen that way. The executives were forced to replace Rosetti at the last moment, operating what in technical jargon is called change in sequence, and establishing a chain reaction that forced them to “withdraw” Marco Di Costanzo from 2 without, who also had dreams of a medal, but in a reworked version he failed to qualify for the final.
His companions did everything possible, obtaining a bronze. But even miracles can leave a bad taste in the mouth. Because the 4 without claims to have been hindered in the final comeback by the English, who finished fourth. “They almost rammed us,” he said Matteo Lodo “While we were going to win.” Amen, when things go wrong, sometimes they go even worse, as Giuseppe Abbagnale, president of the rowing federation and still the face of this sport, so many years after the two Olympic victories with his brother Carmine, said disconsolately. Everything stems from the Rosetti case. Asymptomatic, he was vaccinated in Rome with a second dose in early June. He had just returned from a 15-day bubble, having left Italy on 12 July.
The entire rowing delegation, including masseurs and technicians, was transferred from the Olympic Village to a nearby hotel. Single rooms, contacts limited to the bare minimum, daily buffer. At Coni they guarantee that all procedures have been respected. In recent days there had been the positivity of a Dutch athlete, who “lives” in the village not far from the Italians. But no one yet knows how it could have happened, and what could happen. “Unfortunately, the situation is in the making,” says Dr. Pucci. The 4 without could not even celebrate the medal. No face-to-face interviews, no catwalk at Casa Italia. In isolation, like the others. To wait. All right, we’re surrounded. Yesterday in Tokyo three thousand cases have been registered, for a new record of infections. The IOC has announced another 16 cases connected to the Games, for a total of 169. Only yesterday the positivity of 12 security officers was discovered, which led to the isolation of another 38 of their colleagues. They worked in the Village. The bubble may have been punctured by those who had the task of protecting it. All this now counts for little for Rosetti, who bears the burden of unjust guilt. Perhaps, the medal could partially heal a twist of fate that could not have been more cruel. In the Olympic regulations, team sports athletes who suffer an injury or illness after the competition has already started, are entitled to what is due to their teammates. Coni is moving to request a fifth medal, hoping for an extensive interpretation of the rule. It is unclear whether rowing falls into the intended category. But Covid is certainly a curse. And these are certainly not Games like the others.
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July 28, 2021 (change July 28, 2021 | 23:02)
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