IOC: 'no need for drastic decisions' over Tokyo Olympics

The Tokyo Olympics will go ahead as planned, according to the International Olympic Committee.

The Olympic rings   -  Getty Images

The International Olympic Committee remains adamant the 2020 Tokyo Games will go ahead as planned in July and disregarded the need for "any drastic decisions at this stage".

The coronavirus pandemic has prompted a swathe of sporting postponements and cancellations across the world with UEFA on Tuesday opting to delay the staging of Euro 2020 until next year.

But, while the IOC admitted the situation was changing "day by day", it dismissed the need for action at this stage.

READ: Tokyo Olympic Games not to be staged behind closed doors: IOC

A press release read: "This is an unprecedented situation for the whole world, and our thoughts are with all those affected by this crisis. We are in solidarity with the whole of society to do everything to contain the virus.

"The situation around the COVID-19 virus is also impacting the preparations for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, and is changing day by day.

"The IOC remains fully committed to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, and with more than four months to go before the Games there is no need for any drastic decisions at this stage; and any speculation at this moment would be counter-productive.

"The IOC encourages all athletes to continue to prepare for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 as best they can. We will keep supporting the athletes by consulting with them and their respective National Olympic Committees [NOCs], and by providing them with the latest information and developments.

"The IOC has confidence that the many measures being taken by many authorities around the world will help contain the situation of the COVID-19 virus.

"In this context, the IOC welcomes the support of the G7 leaders as expressed by Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo, who said: 'I want to hold the Olympics and Paralympics perfectly, as proof that the human race will conquer the new coronavirus, and I gained support for that from the G-7 leaders.'"

READ: Japan Olympic Committee deputy head tests positive for coronavirus

With just 57 per cent of the available places for Tokyo 2020 filled via existing qualification methods, the IOC did concede the process for the remainder would have to be examined given the ongoing shutdown of nearly all sport.

It said, however, that all adaptations to the respective qualifying systems would work in line with the following principles:

1. All quota places that have already been allocated to date remain allocated to the NOCs and athletes that obtained them.
2. The possibility remains to use existing and scheduled qualification events, wherever these still have fair access for all athletes and teams.
3. All necessary adaptations to qualification systems and all allocation of remaining places will be:
a) based on on-field results (e.g. IF ranking or historical results); and
b) reflect where possible the existing principles of the respective qualification systems (e.g. use of rankings or continental/regional specific event results).

IOC President Thomas Bach said: "The health and well-being of all those involved in the preparations for the Tokyo Olympics is our number-one concern.

"All measures are being taken to safeguard the safety and interests of athletes, coaches and support teams.

"We are an Olympic community; we support one another in good times and in difficult times. This Olympic solidarity defines us as a community.”