German Olympic chief slams IOC, backs Tokyo delay

With the global sporting calendar on hold due to the coronavirus crisis, the IOC has said it is looking into a postponement of the Summer Games.

A growing number of sports bodies have called for the Summer Games to be pushed back.

A growing number of sports bodies have called for the Summer Games to be pushed back.   -  REUTERS

The president of Germany's national Olympic association (DOSB) Alfons Hoermann, on Tuesday, called for the Tokyo Games to be postponed until next year and slammed the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for its apparent reluctance to reschedule.

“It would have been an enormously valuable signal to the public to call off the current schedule... the health of the global population has absolute priority,” said Hoermann in an online statement.

With the global sporting calendar on hold due to the coronavirus crisis, the IOC has said it is looking into a postponement of the Summer Games.

Hoermann said he welcomed that decision, but said that Germany “would have liked a clear statement...that the Games cannot take place as scheduled and that there are now consultations on alternatives.”

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“Our athletes are currently in an extremely difficult situation: they are barely able to train thanks to the official measures and for many, the road to qualification is unclear or almost impossible,” he added.

Hoermann also warned that “the public perception of the IOC and of sport as a whole will now be shaped by how the next steps are communicated and carried out in the next four weeks.”

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Germany is not the only country to find fault with the IOC's approach.

Canada and Australia have already withdrawn their teams, and a growing number of sports bodies including World Athletics and the US Olympic Committee have called for the Summer Games to be pushed back.

IOC president Thomas Bach, himself a German, is set to hold telephone talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe later Tuesday, and postponement now seems inevitable.

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