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Delay of 1-2 years realistic if virus rules out 2020 Games, says Tokyo Olympic exec

Reuters, Bloomberg

If the Olympics can’t be held in Tokyo this summer due to the global outbreak of the coronavirus, a delay of one or two years would be the most realistic option, a Tokyo Olympic committee executive board member told the Wall Street Journal.

Haruyuki Takahashi, one of about 25 members of the Japanese organizing committee, said in an interview with the paper published Wednesday that the board had not discussed the impact of the virus on the games, having last met in December, before the epidemic spread.

Takahashi and the organizing committee could not immediately be reached for comment.

Takahashi, who was previously a senior managing director at Japanese advertising company Dentsu, said the financial damage from canceling the Olympics or holding them without spectators would be too great, according to the report.

A delay of less than a year, however, would be problematic because the games would then probably be held at the same time as other major professional sports, such as soccer in Europe, and baseball and football in the U.S., the report was quoted as saying.

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