Tokyo 2020: IOC to wait four weeks before deciding whether to postpone Olympic Games

The International Olympic Committee will wait another four weeks before taking a final decision on postponing the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, the organisation’s president, Thomas Bach, confirmed on Sunday evening. 

Despite stern insistence from the Japanese government that the Games will go ahead on 24 July as planned, organisers have reluctantly accepted that those hopes are rapidly fading amid overwhelming criticism from athletes, governing bodies and international federations.

Postponement scenarios involve scaling back the Games or staging it behind closed doors, with the possibility of cancellation quickly ruled out by the executive committee.

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Although the coronavirus pandemic has brought almost every major sporting event to a standstill, the Japanese government – and until now the IOC – had been belligerent in insisting they were “fully committed” to the £10bn event going ahead.

Yet after United States Track and Field became the most significant governing body to call for a postponement, citing athletes’ inability to train safely due to travel restrictions and isolation measures, the executive committee was left with little option but to begin contingency planning.

“Finally, we have been asked to make a simulation in case of a postponement,” a source close to the talks told Reuters ahead of the announcement. “We are making alternative plans – plan B, C, D – looking at different postponement time-frames.”

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