The International Olympic Committee said Tuesday it was not the time for “drastic decisions” over the staging of the Tokyo Olympics, which has not yet been postponed because of the deadly coronavirus pandemic.
“The IOC remains fully committed to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, and with more than four months to go before the Games there is no need for any drastic decisions at this stage; and any speculation at this moment would be counter-productive,” the IOC said in a statement after its executive board met in Lausanne.
The Tokyo Olympics are scheduled to run between July 24-August 9, but the year’s biggest sporting event is as yet one of the sole sporting competitions to have survived a postponement in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak that has caused more than 7,400 deaths and infected more than 180,000 around the world.
The IOC statement fell shortly after news that both this summer’s Euro 2020 and Copa America were to be postponed by one year to 2021.
“This is an unprecedented situation for the whole world, and our thoughts are with all those affected by this crisis,” the IOC said.
“The situation around the COVID-19 virus is also impacting the preparations for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, and is changing day by day.” The IOC encouraged all athletes to continue to prepare for the Tokyo Games “as best they can”.
“The IOC has confidence that the many measures being taken by many authorities around the world will help contain the situation of the COVID-19 virus.” One of the results of the virus outbreak has been the cancellation of qualifiers, in a number of sports, for the Tokyo Olympics.
But the IOC insisted it would work to surmount any difficulties that threw up. “To date, 57 percent of the athletes are already qualified for the Games,” it said. “For the remaining 43 percent of places, the IOC will work with the IFs (international federations) to make any necessary and practical adaptations to their respective qualification systems for Tokyo 2020.”