IOC faces boycotts if Tokyo 2020 is not postponed - Global Athlete



"To be clear I think the Games should be postponed. I think it's the best option, or it's the least worst option available to us now. I think if we're trying to create anything like a normal Olympic Games without potential boycotts, without the media coverage being unanimously about Covid-19, a boycott... sorry a postponement has to be the only decision. I think the IOC are presented with an amazing opportunity to try and bring the world together when we see the other side of this pandemic. We've seen them do it before when they put out North and South Korea under one united Korean flag and that's the power of sport and that's the power of the Olympic Games. So, they've got an amazing opportunity here to postpone the Games and then bring the world together after we see the back of this virus."

STORY: The International Olympic Committee needs to postpone the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics now according to the competitor-led movement Global Athlete.

The organisation, fronted by former British cyclist Callum Skinner, believes the Games should be rescheduled until the Covid-19 pandemic is under control.

Skinner, who won Olympic gold in Rio 2016, warned boycotts could follow if the IOC decides to go ahead with the Games in July, puting the health of athletes at risk.

In an interview with Reuters on Sunday, Skinner said that athletes aren't superheroes and they are just as likely to contract the virus as anyone else could be.

Later on Sunday, the International Olympic Committee said it is to step-up its "scenario planning" for the Tokyo 2020 Games -- including a possible postponement.

The IOC will hold detailed discussions that will include an option of putting back the July 24 start date due to the global coronavirus pandemic, but said a complete cancellation of the Games would not solve any problems or help anybody.

The Olympics has never been postponed or cancelled during peacetime.

Under mounting pressure from athletes, federations and national Olympic committees to postpone the Games, the IOC did a partial U-turn on Sunday after long insisting, with Tokyo organisers, that the Games would go ahead as planned.

More than 13,000 people have died globally since the coronavirus outbreak and its epicentre is now in Europe.

Opposition to holding the Games in July has risen sharply in the past 48 hours, with several major stakeholders such as U.S. Track and Field and UK Athletics along with several national Olympic committees, calling for a delay because of the pandemic.

They have raised several issues in the past week with the IOC, including athletes' inability to prepare due to restrictions caused by the virus and their overall safety.

(Production: Tim Hart)