IOC Looking at Postponing Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Cancellation Not on Agenda

By The Associated Press

LAUSANNE, Switzerland—The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will look at postponing the Tokyo Olympics during four weeks of talks announced Sunday amid mounting criticism by athletes and sports officials during the CCP virus pandemic.

The Epoch Times refers to the novel coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19, as the CCP virus because the Chinese Communist Party’s coverup and mismanagement allowed the virus to spread throughout China and create a global pandemic.

Consultation with Japanese public authorities and global sports officials will deal with “scenario planning” for the July 24-Aug. 9 games, the IOC said.

“These scenarios relate to modifying existing operational plans for the Games to go ahead on July 24, 2020, and also for changes to the start date of the Games,” the Olympic body said in a statement, adding “cancellation is not on the agenda.”

The change in strategy followed IOC president Thomas Bach leading a conference call with executive board members.

Bach has consistently said organizers 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 causing the COVID-19 disease.

Criticism of the stance grew in recent days from athletes and by an IOC member last week, before Bach finally acknowledged an alternative plan was possible.

“Of course we are considering different scenarios,” Bach told the New York Times in an interview late March 19.

National Olympic committees in Brazil and Slovenia later called for a postponement to 2021. Norway’s Olympic body said it did not want athletes going to Tokyo until the global health crisis is under control.

The United States governing bodies of swimming and track—two of the three top-tier Summer Games sports—have called on their national Olympic officials to push for a postponement.

“There is a dramatic increase in cases and new outbreaks of COVID-19 in different countries on different continents,” the IOC said. “This led the [board] to the conclusion that the IOC needs to take the next step in its scenario-planning.”

NTD staff contributed to this report