Tokyo Olympics to go ahead despite outbreak threat

TOKYO - International Olympic Committee President, Thomas Bach, says the body is fully committed to the Tokyo Olympics going ahead on schedule despite the ongoing threat of a coronavirus outbreak.

Bach told Japanese media in a conference call that the IOC “is fully committed to a successful Olympic Games in Tokyo, starting July 24”.

Asked whether there were alternatives to holding the Olympics as scheduled, as suggested in a recent interview with IOC member Dick Pound, Bach only said, “I'll not add fuel to the flames of speculation”.

“It is about now, not about speculation,” stated Bach. “What it is now is to ensure the qualification procedure and protecting the safety of the athletes at the same time. This is what we are doing in cooperation with the Japanese authorities. In cooperation with the World Health Organization, also in cooperation with the Chinese Olympic Committee and the authorities and with many NOCs.

“Let me give you some examples. Now, the Chinese wrestling team is training in Serbia and travelling from there to the different qualification tournaments. The table tennis team of China is in Qatar. The Chinese women’s basketball team is in Croatia. We have managed to move qualification competitions and tournaments within weeks from China to other countries where the safety of the athletes could be ensured.

“So based on this, we can really say we are looking forward to successful Olympic Games in Tokyo.”

Press release