Olympic Games in July is neither feasible nor desirable: Sebastian Coe

Updated: Mar 24, 2020, 07:57 IST | AFP | Tokyo

"No one wants to see the Olympic Games postponed but as I have said publicly, we cannot hold the event at all costs, certainly not at the cost of athlete safety," he said

Sebastian Coe
Sebastian Coe

World Athletics chief Sebastian Coe has called for the Olympics to be postponed over the Coronavirus pandemic. In a letter to International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach, written before Sunday's IOC meeting, Word Athletics president Coe asked for the Games to be moved.

"Whilst we all know that different parts of the world are at different stages of the virus, the unanimous view across all our areas is that an Olympic Games in July this year is neither feasible nor desirable," Coe said in his letter. In his letter, Coe voiced concerns over the issue of competition fairness, with many athletes struggling to train properly, and potential injuries if they have to push themselves harder nearer the Games. "No one wants to see the Olympic Games postponed but as I have said publicly, we cannot hold the event at all costs, certainly not at the cost of athlete safety," he said.

The IOC is responsible for making any final decision on the Games, and has come under increasing pressure as the Coronavirus emergency grows, with more than 14,400 deaths worldwide, according to an AFP tally. The virus has already had an impact on the Games, with qualifiers cancelled and events to celebrate the Olympic torch arrival and relay scaled back. Despite the measures, more than 50,000 people flocked to a cauldron displaying the flame in northeastern Japan, raising fears about whether the relay can be held safely. Some waited in a 500-metre (yard) queue for several hours, Japanese media said.

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