Guinea, who was sent by a team of five to the Tokyo Olympics, will withdraw from the Games just a day before the opening ceremony.
West African country sports minister Sanoussy Bantama Sow cited the coronavirus as the reason for the withdrawal.
“Because of the Covid-19 variants, the government responsible for the health of Guinean athletes has unfortunately decided to cancel Guinea’s participation in the Tokyo Olympics,” Sow said in a statement, Expressen said.
However, according to Inside the games, local sources believe that the real reasons for the omission are economic.
According to sources, the funds of the Ministry of Sports are not enough to fund the athletes' race trip.
The Guinean team would have played wrestler Fatoumata Yarie Camara, judoka Mamadou Samba Bah, swimmers Fatoumata Lamarana Toure and Mamadou Tahirou Bah and sprinter Aissata Deen Conte.
The state, with a population of 12.7 million, has participated in all the Olympics since 1976.
Guinea is not the first country to say it will miss the Olympics.
North Korea announced its decision as early as April.
The opening ceremony of the Olympics will be held in Tokyo on Friday, July 23rd.