Russia urges ‘Olympic calm’ over Tokyo 2020 uncertainty

The Russian Olympic Committee urged for calm amid the uncertainty prevailing over Tokyo 2020 Olympics due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The countdown clock in Tokyo on March 23 shows 123 days to go for the start of the 2020 Olympics.   -  GETTY IMAGES

Russian Olympic officials on Monday urged the global sports community to remain calm as the coronavirus pandemic threatens the upcoming Tokyo Games.

“Panic is the worst that can happen in the current situation,” the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) said in a statement.

“The ROC urges all the representatives of the sports community to keep Olympic calm, to act systematically and constructively while preparing for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games,” it added.

The Games in Japan are due to begin July 24 but the growing scale of the global coronavirus pandemic has thrown their future into uncertainty.

A growing number of national sports federations have in recent days called in for the Games to be postponed.

READ: World Athletics ready to shift 2021 World Championships for Tokyo 2020

“We view as unacceptable any attempts to bring pressure on the organisations in charge of staging the Games and to force them to take rash decisions,” the ROC’s statement added.

Russia has been at the centre of a doping scandal since 2015 revelations of long-term institutional doping involving senior officials from the country.

Russian athletes were excluded from the last Winter Games in Pyeongchang, a ruling which would extend to Tokyo subject to a decision by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

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