The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is to consider postponing the Tokyo Olympics, the body announced on Sunday, although it made clear that an outright cancellation of the event was “not on the agenda”.
The development follows mounting criticism from athletes and sports officials over the IOC’s stance on the coronavirus pandemic.
Consultation with Japanese public authorities, global sports officials, broadcasters and sponsors will deal with “scenario planning” for the July 24-August 9 games, the IOC said.
This includes “the scenario of postponement”, it added.
The change in strategy followed a conference call with IOC president Thomas Bach and executive board members.
“Given the circumstances, today’s news that the IOC are looking at options to postpone the Tokyo 2020 Olympics was inevitable, and the correct decision for the safety of athletes, staff and fans”— UK Sport (@uk_sport) March 22, 2020
UK Sport Chair Dame Katherine Grainger.
Full statement ⤵️https://t.co/E9jCg3zo1C pic.twitter.com/inFB5xkNiD
Bach has previously said that organisers are fully committed to opening the games on July 24 – despite athlete training, qualifying events and games preparations being disrupted more and more by the virus outbreak.