Ohio officials threaten to take legal action against fitness festival if it allows spectators

COLUMBUS, OH - MARCH 02: Competition during prejudging for the Arnold Classic as part of the Arnold Sports Festival on March 2, 2019, at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, OH. (Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther sent a letter to organizers of the Arnold Sports Festival saying they will take “appropriate action under Ohio law” if spectators are allowed into the festival.  

The Arnold Sports Festival is an annual multi-sport festival held in Columbus that includes the Arnold Classic, a bodybuilding competition named for Arnold Schwarzenegger.

According to the letter, the festival and the city of Columbus agreed Tuesday that the event would be closed to spectators. Then yesterday, the festival’s staff said they would close the Expo — but wanted people to be able to watch the sporting events. 

The mayor and the governor said that because the competitions at the festival are general admission, spectators would be able to “attend dozens of events and travel freely from facility to facility” which would create a “unique and unacceptable risk” for the spread of the novel coronavirus. 

Among their concerns is “the attendance of individuals from more than 80 countries and from other parts of the United States, including states affected by COVID-19,” they wrote in the letter.  

“We stand united in our expectation that this event and its organizers abide by the original agreement reached Tuesday. In the event that organizers fail to comply with our agreement, we stand ready to take appropriate action under Ohio law to protect the health and safety of the residents of the State of Ohio and our guests,” DeWine and Ginther’s letter said.

Source: CNN News


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