— Published 26 March 2021

France and Germany are packing their bags

The Grand Slam in Tbilisi, Georgia, scheduled for March 26-28, lost two major nations in world judo. The French Judo Federation (FFJ) announced in a statement Thursday, March 25th, its decision to repatriate its entire delegation before the start of the tournament. In question, the discovery earlier in the day of a third positive case for COVID-19 within the French men’s team who participated in the course organised by the Georgian Judo Federation ahead of the competition. This third case is in addition to the previous two, announced on March 23rd. The three French people declared positive were placed in isolation on site for a period of 10 days. The decision to repatriate the entire delegation, including the French women’s team which had not yet participated in the course, was taken “out of precautionary principle and for the sake of protecting the health of its athletes and of its supervision a few weeks before major international deadlines”, explains the FFJ. The authority also specifies that a reinforced health monitoring protocol will be put in place by the federation’s medical service upon return to France. According to the site judoinside.com, the German Judo Federation has also decided to repatriate its entire delegation, made up of 18 judokas, after the discovery of several positive cases. Earlier in the week, the Cuban team were also forced to withdraw, three of their nine athletes entered in the Grand Slam in Tbilisi having tested positive.