By G9ija

The Tokyo Olympics sports programme finally opened after a year’s pandemic delay with softball in disaster-hit Fukushima on Wednesday as the Games suffered their first drugs controversy.

Japan thrashed Australia 8-1 in the first action of the 2020 Games, which are struggling for public support with Tokyo under a state of emergency following a surge in coronavirus cases.

Fans are barred from most of the Olympics and the game took place in front of empty stands at Fukushima, which was ravaged by an earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster in 2011.

The Olympics are being staged in biosecure “bubble” conditions, with athletes tested daily and under orders to stay socially distanced and wear masks when not competing, training, eating or sleeping.

Later, the Australian city of Brisbane is expected to be confirmed as host of the 2032 Olympics in a vote at the International Olympic Committee session.

As the sport programme started, Australian showjumper Jamie Kermond was provisionally suspended after testing positive for cocaine on June 26.

Under Australia’s anti-doping policy, he now has the opportunity to have his B-sample analysed. Australian reports said Kermond did not travel to Tokyo with the rest of the team.

“Mr. Kermond is prohibited from participating in any WADA-compliant event, including the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, while the provisional suspension is in place,” Equestrian Australia said.