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Agony!: Spanish swimmer condemns Olympic organisers for banning her,baby from athletes village

A Spanish swimmer has condemned bosses of the Tokyo Olympics after claiming she was banned from bringing her baby with her into Athletes’ Village.

Ona Carbonell, 31, captain of Spain’s synchronised swimming team, said she was forced to choose between her dream and her 11-month-old son Kai due to draconian rules in place around the Covid-hit Games.

Carbonell, who has been a vocal advocate of breastfeeding since giving birth last year, said she wanted to continue feeding Kai during the competition but was prevented from doing so.

Olympic chiefs allegedly told Carbonell that Kai would have to stay in a hotel away from Athletes’ Village with his father and she would have to visit them to carry out feedings, breaching the Covid-secure bubble keeping her and her teammates safe.

The rules made it ‘incompatible to perform at the Olympic Games and with your family being the best it can be,’ she said in an angry Instagram post.

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Ona Carbonell, 31 and captain of Spain’s synchronized swimming team, has hit out at Tokyo Olympics organisers for banning her from travelling to the Games with her infant son Kai

Japan has been forced to make drastic changes to the way the Tokyo Olympics is being run as some 50,000 athletes, coaches, staff and media travel from across the world to attend the Games in the midst of the pandemic.

Exceptions to Japan’s strict border lockdown – which all-but bans arrivals from foreign countries – have been made for athletes and their staff.

It appears from Carbonell’s description that Tokyo chiefs were willing to make an additional exception for Kai and partner Pablo to come – but would still have forced them to quarantine in a hotel away from where the athletes are staying.

All competitors have been placed in a Covid-secure bubble, cutting them off from outside contact with frequent testing and temperature checks to ensure Covid cannot spread and stop people from competing.

Nevertheless, Carbonell felt organisers hadn’t gone far enough to accommodate new mothers in their plans.

‘When I gave birth to Kai and saw that I was getting fit and that I could make it to the Tokyo Games, the first thing I did was ask if I could take him because I was breastfeeding him, and they told me no,’ she said in a social media video.

‘For weeks some athletes posted on the networks this situation of having to choose between breastfeeding and family conciliation and the Olympic Games.

‘Due to these complaints from different athletes I spoke with the Spanish Olympic Committee… together with the Superior Sports Council , and we wrote a request to see if he could take me to Kai and they told me that it was possible, but that the conditions were not set by them but by the government of Japan.

‘I finally had to make a very tough decision with my team… with my coach… and with my family, because the conditions set by the government of Japan are incompatible with performing in an Olympic Games.’

In the end, she decided that it would be best for Kai and Pablo to stay at home in Spain while she went to Japan to compete.

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