IOC seeks to reassure Olympics will be safe

With just nine weeks until the Games get underway, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) sought to calm fears in Japan that the event would present a burden to a medical system already under strain from the pandemic at the end of a three-day virtual meeting to discuss preparations.

Asked whether the Olympics would go ahead even if Tokyo is under a state of emergency, the IOC Vice President John Coates, who oversees the preparations, said: "Absolutely yes."

He added that "all of the plans we have in place to protect the safety and security of the athletes and the people of Japan are based on the worst possible circumstances."

Coates said he hoped that public acceptance of the Games would rise as more people get vaccinated.

"But if it doesn’t, then our position is that we just have to make sure that we get on with our job. Our job is to ensure the Games are safe for all of the participants, and all the people of Japan," he said.