IOC sets four-week deadline to decide on postponement of Tokyo Olympics

While cancellation of the Tokyo Games has been ruled out for now, postponement or a curtailed Olympics are options in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The statement from IOC chief Thomas Bach emphasised that cancellation of the games was not on the agenda.   -  Getty Images

The International Olympic Committee is to step-up its "scenario planning" for the 2020 Tokyo Games -- including their postponement -- it said after an emergency meeting on Sunday.

The IOC will hold detailed discussions which will include possibly changing the July 24 start date due to the global coronavirus pandemic, but emphasised that a cancellation of the Games would not solve any of the problems or help anybody.

"Therefore, cancellation is not on the agenda," the IOC said in a statement, adding that the discussions would be completed within the next four weeks.

READ: Coronavirus: Track legend Carl Lewis wants Olympics postponed for two years

The IOC is facing mounting opposition to the current schedule for the Games as athletes, teams and federations call for a delay because of the coronavirus outbreak.

 

Several National Olympic Committees have urged the IOC to postpone the Games as the pandemic forces countries to lock down and has wreaked havoc with their preparations.

"These scenarios relate to modifying existing operational plans for the Games to go ahead on 24 July 2020, and also for changes to the start date of the Games," the IOC said.

"The IOC will... start detailed discussions to complete its assessment of the rapid development of the worldwide health situation and its impact on the Olympic Games, including the scenario of postponement," it said.

"The IOC is confident that it will have finalised these discussions within the next four weeks."