Some Australian athletes returning from the Tokyo Olympics face an unexpected 28 days of quarantine which has labelled “cruel and uncaring” by the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC).

The South Australian government has imposed extra quarantine restrictions for athletes returning via Sydney from Tokyo.

All Australian Olympians and staff have to isolate in Sydney for two weeks before dispersing to their home states. Any that then go onto South Australia will then have to do an added two weeks of isolation.

“Due to the high risk of the Delta strain of COVID-19 in NSW, anyone travelling from New South Wales must undertake 14 days quarantine upon entry into South Australia,” the state said in a statement.

According to the AOC, 56 members of the Australian Olympic team will return to South Australia.

The AOC said South Australia had turned down its request for an exemption of the extra two-week isolation.

“While other countries are celebrating the return of their athletes, we are subjecting ours to the most cruel and uncaring treatment,” AOC Chief Executive Matt Carroll said in a statement on Wednesday.

“They are being punished for proudly representing their country with distinction at the Olympic Games.”

“Not only are our Olympians fully vaccinated, but they have also been living in a highly controlled bubble in Tokyo, taking the utmost precautions – tested daily over many weeks,” said Carroll.

“We have received no explanation as to why our application on behalf of these athletes has been rejected.”

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