The statement, issued Tuesday, moved to dampen the speculation surrounding the future of the 2020 Olympics amid the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic, as the IOC effectively told athletes and stakeholders that it was business as usual.
“This is an unprecedented situation for the whole world, and our thoughts are with all those affected by this crisis. We are in solidarity with the whole of society to do everything to contain the virus,” the statement began.
“The situation around the COVID-19 virus is also impacting the preparations for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, and is changing day by day.
“The IOC remains fully committed to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, and with more than four months to go before the Games there is no need for any drastic decisions at this stage; and any speculation at this moment would be counter-productive.”
The statement than addressed the athletes’ situation as they prepare for the Games amid ever-increasing uncertainty over whether they will actually be competing this summer.
“The IOC encourages all athletes to continue to prepare for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 as best they can,” the statement continued.
“We will keep supporting the athletes by consulting with them and their respective NOCs, and by providing them with the latest information and developments, which are accessible for athletes worldwide on the Athlete365 website and via their respective NOCs and IFs.
“The IOC has confidence that the many measures being taken by many authorities around the world will help contain the situation of the COVID-19 virus. In this context, the IOC welcomes the support of the G7 leaders as expressed by Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo, who said, ‘I want to hold the Olympics and Paralympics perfectly, as proof that the human race will conquer the new coronavirus, and I gained support for that from the G-7 leaders.'”
IOC President Thomas Bach said, “The health and well-being of all those involved in the preparations for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 is our number-one concern. All measures are being taken to safeguard the safety and interests of athletes, coaches and support teams.
“We are an Olympic community; we support one another in good times and in difficult times. This Olympic solidarity defines us as a community.”
The President of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF), Francesco Ricci Bitti, added, “I would like to thank all those involved in the organization of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and all the athletes and the International Federations for their great flexibility.
“We share the same approach and the same principles as the IOC, and we are as committed as the IOC to successful Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. We will keep in touch and have further consultations with all stakeholders concerned.”