The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is to consider postponing the Tokyo Olympics, the body announced on Sunday, although it made clear that an outright cancellation of the event was “not on the agenda”.
The development follows mounting criticism from athletes and sports officials over the IOC’s stance on the coronavirus pandemic.
Consultation with Japanese public authorities, global sports officials, broadcasters and sponsors will deal with “scenario planning” for the July 24-August 9 games, the IOC said.
This includes “the scenario of postponement”, it added. The change in strategy followed a conference call with IOC president Thomas Bach and executive board members.
Bach has previously said that organisers are fully committed to opening the games on July 24 – despite athlete training, qualifying events and games preparations being disrupted more and more by the virus outbreak.