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3 Mar, 2020 14:18

IOC encourages athletes to continue preparations for 2020 Tokyo Olympics despite coronavirus fears

IOC encourages athletes to continue preparations for 2020 Tokyo Olympics despite coronavirus fears

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has encouraged participants of the upcoming 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan to continue their preparations for the summer sports spectacle despite the coronavirus outbreak.

The Olympic governing body stressed it will obediently follow recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO) regarding measures of preventing the spread of the dangerous infection, expressing full commitment to the “success of the Olympic Games.”

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The IOC EB appreciates and supports the measures being taken, which constitute an important part of Tokyo’s plans to host safe and secure Games,” the body said in a statement.

The IOC will continue to follow the advice of WHO, as the leading United Nations agency on this topic. The IOC EB expressed its thanks to WHO for its continued valuable advice and cooperation.”

All stakeholders continue to work closely together to address the challenges of the coronavirus. The IOC EB encourages all athletes to continue to prepare for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.”

Earlier on Tuesday Japan's Olympics Minister Seiko Hashimoto said that under Tokyo's Olympic 2020 contract the organizers are allowed to postpone the Games until the end of the year if the situation surrounding the coronavirus outbreak worsens.

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The contract calls for the Games to be held within 2020. That could be interpreted as allowing a postponement,” Hashimoto said, adding, however, that Japan’s government and host city Tokyo are still committed to hosting the Games as planned, in July.