WASHINGTON – International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach said the organization was “considering different scenarios” for the Tokyo Games, but was optimistic about holding the event as scheduled despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
The IOC will act on advice from its own task force and the World Health Organization, Bach told the New York Times, adding that it was “premature” to make a decision on delaying the games.
“Of course we are considering different scenarios, but we are contrary to many other sports organizations or professional leagues in that we are 4½ months away from the Games,” Bach said.
“For us, (postponement) would not be responsible now and it would be premature to start speculation or make a decision at a time when we do not have any recommendation from the task force,” he added.
Pressure has been growing on the games, scheduled to start on July 24, with COVID-19 having closed sports competitions around the world and paralyzed many countries, along with international travel.
Olympic qualifiers are among the tournaments affected, with 43 percent of athletes yet to book their spots. But Bach said the situation was still too uncertain to make a decision about Tokyo.
“What makes this crisis so unique and so difficult to overcome is the uncertainty. Nobody today can tell you what the developments are tomorrow, what they are in one month, not to mention in more than four months,” he said.
“Therefore it would not be responsible in any way to set a date or take a decision right now, which would be based on speculation about the future developments.”