Tokyo Games: Naomi Osaka won’t be required to talk to press at Tokyo Games after French Open controversy

Tokyo Games: Naomi Osaka won't be required to talk to press at Tokyo Games after French Open controversy
Tokyo Games: Naomi Osaka won't be required to talk to press at Tokyo Games after French Open controversy

Tokyo Games: Naomi Osaka won’t be required to talk to press at Tokyo Games after French Open controversy- The International Olympic Committee said Friday it will not require Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka, who was fined for refusing to attend press conferences at this year’s French Open, or any other athlete, to speak to the media at this summer’s Tokyo Olympics.

“…The IOC has never obliged athletes to hold a press conference,” the IOC media relations team said in response to a question from Kyodo News.

Olympic medalists are typically asked to participate in press conferences upon completion of their events, but the Japanese Olympic Committee, which has the authority to set media policies for Japan’s athletes, said, “There are no special penalties for not participating.”

ALSO READ: Wimbledon 2021: Naomi Osaka pulls out of Wimbledon due to personal reasons, aims for Tokyo Olympics

The Japan Tennis Association said thee country’s Olympic tennis players would comply with International Tennis Federation rules requiring them to pass through a media-accessible mixed zone, but not requiring they answer questions.

On Thursday, Osaka’s agency announced that the 23-year-old, the world’s No. 2 ranked woman’s player, had withdrawn from Wimbledon but would represent Japan at the Tokyo Olympics.

Prior to the French Open, Osaka, a four-time Grand Slam champion, said she would skip post-match press conferences.

Grand Slam tournaments require physically able players to attend press conferences and can issue fines of up to $20,000 for not doing so. Repeat violations can result in possible expulsion from a tournament or suspension from other Grand Slam events.

Osaka later revealed she has struggled with depression and withdrew from the tournament. She has not competed since.