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Athletics chief Sebastian Coe admits Olympics could be postponed

AFP
Published Mar 19, 2020, 5:17 pm IST
Updated Mar 19, 2020, 5:17 pm IST
'I had a conversation the other day with the IOC and other federations. Nobody is saying we will be going to the Games come what may'
International Athletics Federation president Sebastian Coe at the opening ceremony of 22nd Asian Athletics Championships at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneshwar. PTI Photo
 International Athletics Federation president Sebastian Coe at the opening ceremony of 22nd Asian Athletics Championships at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneshwar. PTI Photo

London: World athletics chief Sebastian Coe admitted on Thursday that the Tokyo Olympics could be moved to later in the year by the coronavirus outbreak, but said it was too early to make a definitive decision.

Olympic bosses acknowledged on Wednesday there was no "ideal" solution as a growing number of athletes expressed concern. The COVID-19 pandemic is playing havoc with the global sporting calendar, forcing the postponement of Euro 2020 and a suspension of the tennis season.

 

International Olympic Committee chairman Thomas Bach said earlier this week that starting on schedule on July 24 remained the organisation's goal.

But Coe, who is a member of the Tokyo Olympics Games Coordination Commission, conceded in an interview with the BBC that a delay was possible.

"That is possible, anything is possible at the moment," said Coe when asked whether the Games could be postponed to September or October.

"But I think the position that sport has certainly taken, and it was certainly the temperature of the room in the conversation I had the other day with the IOC and our other federations, is that nobody is saying we will be going to the Games come what may.

 

"But it isn't a decision that has to be made at this moment."

Coe, who played a pivotal role in securing the Olympics for London in 2012, said postponing the Games until 2021 could present problems. "That seems on the surface of it an easy proposition, but member federations actually avoid Olympic years often to have their world championships," he said.

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