Too early to decide fate of Tokyo 2020, says IOC chief

Beijing: International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach has stressed it’s too early to decide the fate of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

He said that in a teleconference with representatives of athletes on Wednesday, former Olympic champion Yang Yang told Xinhua news agency.

About 200 representatives from the international federations, athletes and Athletes Commissions of related Olympic organizing committees attended the two-hour teleconference with IOC members of relevant departments. Yang joined as chair of Athletes Commissions of Beijing 2022.

According to Yang, Bach said that he understood that speculation over postponing or even cancelling Tokyo 2020 has interrupted the athletes’ preparation for the Games.

The president went on to explain that the IOC will not insist on holding the Games out of economic concerns, which could be dealt with by IOC’s risk management and insurance. Right now, the organization is keeping close cooperation with relevant authorities including the World Health Organization to evaluate if the situation is suitable for hosting the Games.

The Tokyo 2020 organizing committee is committed to hosting the Games as scheduled, which they believe will bring hope to people in difficult times, Bach told the athletes.

Bach explained changes made in the Olympic quota allocation due to cancellation of qualifying tournament to avoid the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and responded to some athletes’ concerns that they did not receive enough support from their national Olympic committee during this special time.

The IOC noted that more frequent anti-doping tests will be carried out to keep the Olympics clean in case some athletes take advantage of the closing of anti-doping labs in some countries and regions due to the pandemic, which was also the concern raised by representatives on the teleconference.

The IOC has been having a teleconference with shareholders including international federations, representatives athletes and national Olympic committees since Tuesday.


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