The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has strongly refuted rumours which suggest the Tokyo Games could be canceled due to the threat of the coronavirus.

With approximately six months to go before the showpiece, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared the Coronavirus a global health emergency.  The epicenter of the outbreak is the Chinese City of Wuhan where over 10,000 people have been infected.  The virus has also spread to 20 other countries, including Japan, where 17 people have been infected.

The Tokyo Olympic organisers have, however, insisted that having been in contact with the WHO and insisted they were “not considering” canceling the Olympics and Paralympics.  The IOC has revealed that various countermeasures were already being examined.

“Countermeasures against infectious diseases constitute an important part of Tokyo 2020’s plans to host a safe and secure Games,” the IOC said in a statement.

“Tokyo 2020 will continue to collaborate with all relevant organisations which carefully monitor any incidence of infectious diseases and will review any countermeasures.”

The outbreak has already affected other scheduled competitions, including the Olympic qualifying tournament in China.  Women’s football has been moved to Australia and basketball to Serbia.  The Asian-Oceania boxing qualifiers have been moved to Jordan.  The World Indoor Championships, which were to have been held in Nanjing in March, were postponed for a year.

 

Fedrick Dacres, the 2019 World Championships discus silver medallist and Olympic swimmer Julian Fletcher, are the two Caribbean athletes among 30 vying for four spots on the International Olympic Committee’s Athletes Commission.

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