IOC President Thomas Bach Says Olympic Cancellation Is "Not on the Agenda"

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Tokyo bracing for possible postponement of Summer Games : The Asahi Shimbun

Four-time Olympic champion Michael Johnson has urged the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to "communicate" as the coronavirus crisis continues to threaten the staging of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The heavily decorated swimming program expressed its concerns in a letter to the USOPC, joining a chorus of growing global concern and calls to have the Olympics rescheduled.

"We urge the USOPC, as a leader within the Olympic Movement, to use its voice and speak up for the athletes".

In the US, federal, state and local restrictions since the outbreak have caused almost all major sports leagues, events and tour to be shut down.

The chorus to postpone the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games is growing, as national Olympics committees and sports governing bodies have asked the International Olympic Committee and the Japanese government for a delay.

In a letter to the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee, USA Track and Field chief executive Max Siegel said forging ahead with Olympic preparations "would not be in the best interest of our athletes".

"Of course, we are considering different scenarios, but we are contrary to many other sports organizations or professional leagues in that we are 4 1/2 months away from the Games".

"We are very clearly encouraging everyone in our community to put their safety and the safety of those in their communities and those around them first, following the guidance of local health officials above and beyond anything else", Hirshland said in a conference call following a USOPC board meeting.

"My concern is as they are trying to find places to train and work out, it goes against what we're supposed to be doing to not get the coronavirus", Bowman told USA Today.

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"As this global pandemic has grown, we have watched our athletes' worlds be turned upside down and watched them struggle to find ways to continue to prepare and train - many for the biggest competitive opportunity of their lives".

Underscoring the difficulty athletes face in finding safe and suitable facilities, Hirshland confirmed that both USOPC training centres, including the one where its headquarters is located in Colorado Springs, have been closed by the outbreak.

Even if there is some breakthrough in combating the coronavirus in the next 4½ months - which science and health experts say is quite unlikely - there have already been disruptions in the athletic community that necessitate postponement of the Games.

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

"Each day that goes by without a decision creates more stress and anxiety for our athletes, who are anxious not only about themselves but about their communities".

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

The Opening Ceremony for the Summer Games in Tokyo is scheduled to be held July 24.

"I think we would concur with the International Olympic Committee to say that we need more expert advice and information than we have today to make a decision", Lyons said in a conference call with reporters.

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