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Bach: Neither cancellation nor postponement of Tokyo 2020 mentioned in IOC meeting

2020-03-05 13:51:00 Xinhuanet

GENEVA, March 4 (Xinhua) -- International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach said Wednesday that neither cancellation nor postponement of Tokyo 2020 due to the COVID-19 outbreak worldwide had been mentioned during the latest IOC meeting.

"We're not speculating on any kind of future development," said Bach at a briefing following a two-day IOC executive board meeting.

He added that a joint task force, consisted of the IOC, the organizing committee of Tokyo 2020, the host city of Tokyo, the government of Japan and in particular the World Health Organization (WHO), has been holding regular meetings to address any issue related to COVID-19 that may arise.

Bach said the IOC and organizers of Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games have been receiving expert information regarding the ongoing outbreak. "I can tell you in the meeting of the IOC Executive Board (that) neither the word 'cancellation' nor the word 'postponement' was mentioned," he said.

He also said it was not the first time that concerns arose ahead of the Olympic games.

"We had (before the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Games) a situation where we did not know if we could have Games on the Korean peninsula (because of tensions)," he said. "Before Rio de Janeiro 2016 we were talking about the Zika virus."

Bach reiterated that the IOC is still fully committed to the success of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, and encouraged all athletes to continue preparing the event.

Yoshiro Mori, the president of the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee, told reporters on Wednesday after reporting to the IOC executive board via teleconference from Tokyo, "We told the IOC the measures Japan has taken against the virus. We also expressed our confidence that the Games will be held as planned."

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