Mar 05, 2020

Tokyo 2020 : No cancellation talk at IOC meeting 

International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach said the words "cancellation" and "postponement" were not mentioned in regards to Tokyo 2020 at Wednesday's executive board meeting.

Japan's Olympic minister claimed on Tuesday the summer Games could be postponed until later in the year amid fears over the coronavirus outbreak.

Bach said the IOC would not "speculate on any kind of future developments".

The Games are due to be held from 24 July to 9 August.

The right to cancel the Games remains with the IOC but Bach had stated on Tuesday that the organisation remains "very confident with regard the success" of the Games in Tokyo.

Bach reiterated in Lausanne on Wednesday that regular meetings with a task force regarding the virus continue and both the IOC and local organising committee remain "fully committed" to Tokyo 2020.

The IOC president added the body would "not add fuel to the flame of speculation" regarding various scenarios, but "quota allocations" could be implemented in some disciplines if athletes are prevented from competing in qualifying events because of coronavirus.

"This is challenging but I must also say I'm pretty proud of the Olympic movement and the great solidarity everyone has shown so far to address these challenges," said Bach.

"I can assure you I will not get tired repeating my statement from yesterday and we will not get caught in speculation."

According to the IOC, 4.5m tickets have been sold for the Games in Japan and there have been over 80 million further requests.

Tokyo 2020 organisers have agreed to scale back the torch relay in response to coronavirus, with the lighting of the flame due to take place in Greece next week.

International Olympic Committee member Dick Pound previously said organisers would "reluctantly" have to cancel the Games if the coronavirus developed into a serious pandemic, although preparations remain "business as usual".

Coronavirus, which originated in Hubei province, China, in December, has spread to more than 50 countries and claimed more than 3,000 lives so far.

(BBC News)

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