The International Olympic Committee has given itself a four-week deadline to decide whether to postpone the Tokyo Olympic Games set for this summer or reduce the scale of events, amid the continuing Covid-19 pandemic crisis.
It comes after IOC president Thomas Bach was emphatic that a cancellation was not on the agenda — as the IOC backtracks on its previous confirmation, and sporting bodies believe the most likely scenario is the Games are pushed back by an entire year.
The Guardian reports that Canada has already withdrawn its Olympic teams over coronavirus concerns, and that World Athletics have written to the IOC to say holding events as planned is “neither feasible nor desirable”.
The situation has thrown every Olympic campaign into disarray, both for competitors already qualified and for the likes Irish sailors yet to secure a spot, who already face last-minute changes to the qualification process.
On Friday (20 March), in an interview with German broadcaster SWR, Thomas Bach — who is quarantined at his home office in Lausanne, Switzerland — said: “You cannot postpone Olympic Games like a soccer game to next Saturday.
“This is a very complex business, where you can only act responsibly if you have reliable and clear bases for decision-making, and we monitor this every day, 24 hours a day.”
Scuttlebutt Sailing News has more on the story HERE.