Budapest is set to host the first World Judo Tour event since March due to the coronavirus pandemic ©Getty Images

The International Judo Federation (IJF) has described the Budapest Grand Slam as a "litmus test for the future" ahead of the long-awaited return of the World Judo Tour.

Staged from October 23 to 25, the event in the Hungarian capital will be the first since March when the coronavirus pandemic brought a halt to proceedings.

More than 500 competitors from 75 countries are set to take part in the tournament which will be held behind closed doors.

The IJF say both athletes and staff will "live in a bubble" in a bid to avoid contagion.

A number of other measures have been put in place which IJF admit might "seem unpleasant", but felt they were "fair" as the governing body aims to create a safe environment for competitors.

"It will be a safe Grand Slam," the IJF statement read.

"There can be no doubt about that.

"It will be safe because it has to be and because the International Judo Federation has worked tirelessly to offer guarantees to the athletes and to the Hungarian Government, whom have allowed the tournament and continue to support it.

"It will be a litmus test for the future and we are prepared.

"No one can joke about the health of athletes.

"That is why the IJF has established strict measures that we must all respect; starting with the medical tests prior to the tournament, that everyone must have."

IJF is looking to get through the competition without any positive COVID-19 cases but insist it will be "prepared to isolate and treat" infected individuals and "protect the rest".

Andrea Ember, from the IJF’s medical commission, said the governing body studied "numerous World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations" in a bid to create a "framework of safety measures" that could be followed at both national and international level.

The IJF say there will be a
The IJF say there will be a "cleaning regime" to keep the mats "safe throughout the competition" ©Getty Images

"Each competition is different," Ember said.

"Everything depends on the environment, the size of the venue, the number of participants, the distance between the hotel(s) and the venue, etc.

"However, there are some general rules that must be followed by every host federation or club.

"The most basic are the sanitary rules, cleaning regulations, the equipment that is needed to keep the environment safe.

"We will, for instance, need to clean and sanitise the tatami regularly.

"For example, in Budapest the tatami is going to be treated with a special solution, safe for the athletes but lethal for germs and viruses, that forms a protective layer and combined with a cleaning regime every hour during the day, we can keep the tatami, all three mats, safe throughout the competition.

"Even referees will have a special layer applied to their footwear that can be easily sanitised after each contest.

"We’ll try to do everything on our side, however we can succeed only with the help of the participants.

"We are all equal in this game."

Ember said each National Federation has been asked to name a "COVID manager" that is responsible for informing organisers of "any health issues that might be related to the virus".

The Local Organising Committee and IJF’s Medical Commission have also appointed someone into the role, creating a "unit" which is in charge of testing and any other health-related matters.

"We are, again, in contact with the relevant representatives of the Government, national public health centre and hotel management, to minimise the risk of participating in a mass sport event and provide the experience that everyone is long awaiting," added Ember.