• Kyodo

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Around 280 certified sports doctors have applied for 200 spots the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympic organizing committee want to fill for this summer’s games, sources close to the matter have said.

The sources said Tuesday that the doctors would be unpaid volunteers, and the organizers are keen to ensure the impact on the local medical system is kept to a minimum as it is already stretched amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The organizers came under fire in April after asking the Japanese Nursing Association to make 500 nurses available to provide medical services during the games.

The latest news will be a welcome boost for the organizers, although a sense of distrust remains among local medical personnel and the public as Japan continues to face a resurgence of COVID-19 infections.

The organizers had made the request for the sports doctors through the Japan Sport Association. The doctors will work in medical rooms at the athletes village and competition venues, among other sites.

The sources said the doctors will mainly be orthopedists and dentists, and that they will take part in the early stages of clinical examinations.

Certified sports doctors have held medical licenses for more than four years, and must also have attended a course run by the JSA. Their activities include providing medical services at tournaments and serving as team doctors.

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