The International Olympic Committee has confirmed that the Tokyo 2020 Olympic games will go ahead as per schedule. Thomas Bach, IOC President, on Tuesday in Lausanne insisted that the athletes should continue with their Olympic preparations “with full confidence”.
Bach’s addressed the meeting of the organization’s executive board, where it was decided that despite the coronavirus scare, IOC remains committed to holding the Olympics event between 24th July and 9th August. So far the Coronavirus outbreak has confirmed 90,000 cases and more than 3,000 deaths globally.
Speculation mounted further, when Japan’s Olympic Minister Seiko Hashimoto on Tuesday morning while speaking in the national parliament, stated that the Games could be postponed to the end of the year because of the coronavirus fear. His statement, lead to the IOC releasing a statement insisting that the event will take place according to schedule.
His statement clearly states “The International Olympic Committee executive board today expressed full commitment to the success of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, taking place from 24th July to 9th August 2020. The IOC EB heard a report on all the measures taken so far to address the coronavirus situation, which was followed by a comprehensive discussion. A joint task force had already been created in mid-February, involving the IOC, Tokyo 2020, the host city of Tokyo, the government of Japan and the World Health Organization. The IOC will continue to follow the advice of WHO, as the leading United Nations agency on this topic”.
Bach’s message shows that he is factoring to find some leeway in case the spread of the coronavirus reaches to such an extent becoming unavoidable causing a delay for the Olympic Games.
Bach said “Following a very comprehensive discussion in the executive board, the IOC remains fully committed to the success of the Olympic Games. I would like to encourage all the athletes to continue with their preparations for the Olympic Games with great confidence and with full steam”.
Hashimoto was questioned in Japan’s Parliament, regarding the Olympics schedule, where she insisted, “everything was being done to ensure the Games so ahead as planned, but the organizing committee’s agreement with the IOC did allow for the event to be moved. The contract calls for the Games to be held within 2020. That could be interpreted as allowing postponement”.
Due to the coronavirus outbreak number of major sporting events had already been quashed including the 2020 World indoor Athletics Championships and the Chinese Grand Prix, including the two stages of the cycling’s UAE Tour final canceled last week.