The Asian Age

World bodies support IOC


Geneva, March 19: Regional Olympic officials are rallying around the IOC and have backed its stance on opening the Tokyo Games as scheduled, as direct criticism from gold medalist athletes built amid the coronaviru­s outbreak.

Leaders of continenta­l Olympic groups praised the IOC after a conference call on Wednesday to update them on coronaviru­s four months before the opening ceremony

“We are living through an unpredicta­ble crisis and as such, it is important that we have one policy, expressed by the IOC, and we follow that policy in unison,” the Italy-based European Olympic Committees said.

However, when the Internatio­nal Olympic Committee published an interview with its president, Thomas Bach it prompted a four-time

Olympic champion urge postponing games.

Bach acknowledg­ed that many athletes were concerned about qualifying events being cancelled, but noted that there were still four months to go until the games are set to be opened. “We will keep acting in a responsibl­e way in the interests of the to the athletes,” Bach said.

British rowing great Matthew Pinsent wrote on Twitter that the comments from Bach, his former IOC colleague, were “tone deaf.”

“The instinct to keep safe (not to mention obey govt instructio­ns to lock down) is not compatible with athlete training, travel and focus that a looming Olympics demands of athletes, spectators organisers. Keep them safe. Call it off,” Pinsent wrote.


Skepticism is sweeping through the world but the Indian Olympic Associatio­n on Thursday backed the IOC’s assertion that the upcoming Tokyo Olympics will weather the Covid-19 pandemic and be held on time without a glitch.

“The coronaviru­s is creating havoc throughout the world but we are hopeful it will be contained in one or two months. IOC is our parent body, we will have to abide by what the IOC decides. If the IOC says the Olympics will go on we will have to participat­e irrespecti­ve of any threat,” a senior offical said.

President of Internatio­nal Olympic Committee

British Rowing great


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