The decision on the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games will be known in four weeks.
On the background that several athletes, sporting associations, including USA Track and Field, have been calling for the games to be pushed back to a later date.
American sprint hurdler Lolo Jones went as far as labelling the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as “irresponsible and demeaning” for the stance taken in the coronavirus pandemic.
The IOC had maintained there is no need for “any drastic decisions at this stage” while adding the games is still on for July 24 to August 9.
However, in a letter to athletes, IOC President Thomas Bach said: “We are working very hard, and we are confident that we will have finalised these discussions within the next four weeks.”
“Together with all the stakeholders, we have started detailed discussions today to complete our assessment of the rapid development of the worldwide health situation and its impact on the Olympic Games, including a scenario of postponement,” he wrote.
The outbreak of coronavirus has killed over 13,000 people to date while another 307, 600 people are suffering from the deadly virus. The virus caused many qualifying events to be postponed or cancelled in the last two months. Some athletes are unable to train due to the containment measures in their country.
Bach continued: “Contrary to other sports events, to postpone the Olympic Games is an extremely complex challenge. Just to give you some examples:
“A number of critical venues needed for the Games could potentially not be available anymore. The situations with millions of nights already booked in hotels is extremely difficult to handle, and the international sports calendar for at least 33 Olympic sports would have to be adapted. These are just a few of many, many more challenges.”
Bach was also clear that the Games of the XXXII Olympiad is unlikely to be cancelled.
“Cancellation of the Olympic Games would destroy the Olympic dream of 11,000 athletes from all 206 National Olympic Committees, from the IOC Refugee Olympic Team, most likely for the Paralympic athletes, and for all the people who are supporting you as coaches, doctors, officials, training partners, friends and family. Cancellation would not solve any problem and would help nobody. Therefore it is not on our agenda,” he said.
IOC Athletes’ Commission member Hayley Wickenheiser earlier this week claimed the IOC’s insistence the Olympics will go ahead as planned was “irresponsible”.
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