The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is facing the heat for its stance on wait and watch approach on the fate of Tokyo Olympics later this year amid the coronavirus crisis. Multiple national federations and several athletes have asked for the Games to be delayed as a precautionary measure taking cue from other major sporting events which have also been either cancelled or postponed. Also Read - Football: UEFA Denies August 3 Deadline For Champions League Conclusion
The USA Track and Field (USATF) has shot a letter to IOC, ‘respectfully’ requesting them to prioritise health and safety of athletes. “The right and responsible thing to do is to prioritise everyone’s health and safety and appropriately recognise the toll this difficult situation has, and continues to take, on our athletes and their Olympic Games preparations,” wrote USATF head Max Siegel asking for the postponement of the Olympics. Also Read - Shahid Afridi, Jahangir Khan Come Forward to Help Minorities in Fighting Coronavirus Pandemic
The Royal Spanish Athletics Federation has also advocated the demand. “The board of directors of the Royal Spanish Athletics Federation (RFEA), on behalf of the majority of Spanish athletes, advocates the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games”, a press release from REFA said. Also Read - Pakistan: Coronavirus Cases Cross 3,000-Mark, Govt Taking Measures to Curtail Its Spread
“The circumstances do not guarantee an adequate preparation or a fair competition with the rest of the athletes in the world, without endangering the health (of Spanish athletes).”
The International Association of Athletics Federations chief Sebasatian Coe is expecting a decision soon. “I don’t think we should have the Olympic Games at all costs, certainly not at the cost of athlete safety and a decision on the Olympic Games may become very obvious very quickly in the coming days and weeks. The issue of competition fairness is paramount. We are all managing the situation day by day and increasingly hour by hour,” Coe told AFP.
The Brazilian Olympic Committee (COB) has proposed that the Games be held in 2012 on the same dates.