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Naomi Osaka is Free to Skip Press Conferences at the Tokyo Olympics

Naomi Osaka

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    Tennis star Naomi Osaka will not be required to attend press conferences at this summer’s Tokyo Olympics, the Japanese Olympic Committee confirmed to the press on Friday. 

    Not mandatory: The committee’s media relations team clarified while Olympic medalists usually attend press conferences after events, they will not penalize those who refuse to participate, Kyodo News reported. 

    • “The IOC has never obliged athletes to hold a press conference,” the committee was quoted as saying.
    • Complying with the International Tennis Federation means Olympic tennis players would be required to pass through a media-accessible mixed zone, but they don’t have to answer questions.
    • Unlike Olympic tournaments, Grand Slam tournaments can issue fines of up to $20,000 for players refusing to attend press conferences.
    • Repeat violations can even result in suspension or possible expulsion from a tournament. 

    Representing her country: Osaka expressed excitement to represent Japan at the Tokyo Olympics after skipping major tournaments, including the Wimbledon championships, to spend time with loved ones, NextShark previously reported.

    • Osaka withdrew from the French Open earlier this year after she was fined for refusing to attend press conferences.
    • She cited her struggles with depression as her reason for backing out. 

    The Olympics will begin on July 23 and run until Aug. 8. The oldest living person in the world, Kane Tanaka, will be the torchbearer at the games this year.

    Featured Image via Australia Open TV

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