IOA to wait for a month before taking call on Olympics

Updated: Mar 24, 2020, 07:47 IST | PTI | New Delhi

However, India is ready to wait for a while before arriving at a final decision as it monitors the fast-evolving situation triggered by the pandemic, which has killed more than 14,000 and infected over 300,000.

IOA President Narinder Batra
IOA President Narinder Batra

The Indian Olympic Association on Monday said it will "wait and watch" for at least a month before taking any call on Tokyo Olympics participation after Canada created a flutter by becoming the first nation to pull out of the showpiece due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The north American nation's withdrawal added to the International Olympic Committee's woes after a host of top athletes and powerful sports bodies rammed up pressure on the IOC to postpone the quadrennial extravaganza in July-August.

However, India is ready to wait for a while before arriving at a final decision as it monitors the fast-evolving situation triggered by the pandemic, which has killed more than 14,000 and infected over 300,000.

"Being the head of IOA, the health and well being of our athletes and officials are of prime concern to me," IOA President Narinder Batra told PTI.

"Whatever decisions the IOA takes will be for the welfare of our athletes. But right now we are just waiting and monitoring the situation on a daily basis. I assure the people that we won't let anyone down and our decisions will be in the best interest of our athletes," he added.

IOA Secretary General Rajeev Mehta put a timeline to this wait and watch approach. "We will wait and watch for 4 to 5 weeks and then come to any decision after consultation with the IOC and the sports ministry," Mehta said.

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