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Tokyo games cancellation, postponement not discussed at IOC meet

Lausanne, Switzerland, March 4 (Jiji Press)–The International Olympic Committee executive board did not discuss a potential cancellation or postponement of the Tokyo Summer Olympics during its two-day meeting from Tuesday, IOC President Thomas Bach said Wednesday.

The IOC board meeting was held at a time when speculation was growing that the 2020 Tokyo Games may be delayed or suspended due to the new coronavirus outbreak, just like some other international sporting events.

“In the meeting of the executive board, neither the word ‘cancellation’ nor the word ‘postponement’ was even mentioned,” Bach told a press conference.

The president reiterated the IOC’s “full commitment to the successful Olympic Games” in Tokyo, pledging to offer full support for efforts to start the quadrennial event on July 24 as planned.

Bach explained that the plan to go ahead with the games is based on decisions by a joint task force comprising members from the Tokyo Games organizing committee, the Tokyo metropolitan government, the Japanese government and the World Health Organization.

“We are not speculating on any kind of future developments,” Bach said when asked whether the IOC will reconsider its plans in the event of the coronavirus epidemic worsening.

The president also said the IOC will take measures to ensure fairness among athletes in Olympic qualifier events affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.

“We have to consult with the respective international federations with regard to quota allocations, if there should be a case where athletes would be prevented from taking part in the qualification procedure because of the coronavirus,” he said.

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