TOKYO – The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is "considering different scenarios" for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, the New York Times reported on Thursday, as the coronavirus pandemic has created uncertainty over holding the events as planned.
"Of course, we are considering difference scenarios," IOC president Thomas Bach said in an interview with the paper.
The IOC has been criticized for pressing on with preparations for the Tokyo Games, which are scheduled to begin July 24, despite the global coronavirus pandemic which has infected more than 200,000 people.
Apart from fears of contracting the virus, athletes and officials believe that lockdowns in some parts of the world and ongoing training in others would lead to unfair competition in what is a career highlight for every athlete.
The IOC admitted that "a solution with the least negative impact for the athletes" was being sought and Bach said Wednesday’s conference call with athletes was "very constructive and gave us a lot of insight."
On Friday, the Olympic Flame arrived in northern Japan, with a toned down torch relay to start March 26 in Fukushima, the site of the country’s worst nuclear disaster, which was caused by a powerful earthquake and ensuing tsunami in March 2011.