Olympics: Decision may be coming soon on Tokyo Games, Coe says

Olympics: Decision may be coming soon on Tokyo Games, Coe says

USA Track and Field joined USA Swimming on Friday in calling for a postponement of the 2020 Tokyo Games - stubbornly still scheduled to begin in late July - and in pressuring the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee to use its considerable worldwide sway to advocate for a delay due to the global coronavirus pandemic.

The International Olympics Committee recently suspended the Olympic torch relay in Greece due to the virus.

There are over 275,000 cases globally, with 88,000 recovered, according to Johns Hopkins University, which has been tracking the outbreak using combined data sources.

"We acknowledge that there are no ideal answers, and that this is a very complex and hard decision", Siegel wrote, "but this position at least provides our athletes with the comfort of knowing that they will have adequate time to properly prepare themselves physically, mentally and emotionally to be able to participate in a safe and successful Olympic Games".

USOPC CEO Sarah Hirshland said on Friday, prior to the USA Swimming statement, that athletes should continue to prepare for the Games while taking precautions.

"But whatever decision we take will be made after discussions with our stakeholders, the Youth and Sports Ministry, NSC and National Sports Institute (NSI)", he said. The USOPC has closed its Olympic training centres to all but the 180 or so who live at them - and many in those groups have chosen to leave campus.

"The IOC wants us to keep risking our health, our family's health and public health to train every day?" asked Stefanidi.

"In the present circumstances in the world, we consider it unwise and nearly irresponsible for athletes and their coaches to continue to prepare for the Games here and around the world under terribly hard and unhealthy conditions", KNWU President Marcel Wintels told the news agency ANP. "They're four months from now".

Already, Olympic qualifiers and dozens of sports events across Asia have been postponed or called off, including the indoor world track and field championships in Nanjing, China.

"We must understand OCM's function, as we have the right to select athletes to multisports games".

The 52-year-old Johnson did not go this far, but urged the International Olympic Committee to "communicate" with the athletes.

Later Friday, Swimming Canada said it was "very much aligned" with the points Hinchey raised.

So far no specific deadline for making a decision on whether or not to take part in the Tokyo Games has been put in place and the USOPC said it will take guidance from the medical community.

Eugene Liang, high-performance director for Triathlon Canada, said the current global situation has created "an environment of haves and have-nots" when it comes to athlete training.

"IOC yesterday gave its assurance regarding the security and safety of all parties if Tokyo 2020 is held as planned".

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