Athletics

Olympics boss mulls different scenarios amid coronavirus pandemic

22 March 2020 - 00:00 By Reuters
International Olympic Committee (IOC) sports director Kit McConnell gives a press conference at the Olympic Museum in Lausanne. File photo
International Olympic Committee (IOC) sports director Kit McConnell gives a press conference at the Olympic Museum in Lausanne. File photo
Image: Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP

The International Olympic Committee is considering various scenarios for the Tokyo Games amid the coronavirus pandemic but cancellation is not one of them, IOC president Thomas Bach has told the New York Times.

Organisers of the world's biggest multisports event have repeatedly said the Games would start on July 24 as scheduled, even as the rapid spread of the virus has brought sporting events around the globe to a standstill.

Bach said the IOC was not even considering scrapping the Games.

"The cancellation is not on the agenda. We are committed to the success of these Games," he said.

An IOC task force, which included the World Health Organisation, had determined it was too early to make a decision on how to manage the impact from the pandemic on the Olympics.

"We don't know what the situation will be," he said.

"Of course we are considering different scenarios, but we are contrary to many other sports organisations or professional leagues in that we are four and a half months away from the Games.

"What makes this crisis so unique and so difficult to overcome is the uncertainty.

"Nobody can tell you what the developments are tomorrow, what they are in one month, not to mention in more than four months."

Japan is expected to welcome 600,000 spectators and athletes to the event, which has seen at least $12bn spent on preparations.

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