Corona Alert: Olympics May Be Put Off, But Not Cancelled

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The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has said that postponing the 2020 Olympics is one of its options as the world grapples with the coronavirus pandemic. It, however, added that cancellation of the Tokyo showpiece was “not on the agenda”.

The IOC has faced strong pressure to push back the Games, scheduled from July 24 to August 9, from sporting federations and athletes worried about the health risk as the COVID-19 global death tally went past 13,000 on Sunday.

IOC President Thomas Bach said a decision on when the Games take place would be made “within the next four weeks”, news agency AFP reported.

“Human lives take precedence over everything, including the staging of the Games,” Bach wrote in an open letter to athletes.

“We have, as indicated before, been thinking in different scenarios and are adapting them almost day by day. A final decision about the date of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 now would still be premature,” he added.

Bach explained that the IOC was discussing its options with health authorities and stakeholders. “We are confident that we will have finalised these discussions within the next four weeks.”

He, however, ruled out cancellation of the Games in Tokyo. “Cancellation would not solve any problem and would help nobody. Therefore it is not on our agenda,” he said.

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