United States media call for postponement of Olympics

US Swimming calls on Olympics to be postponed

USATF's letter echoes a similar sentiment made by USA Swimming on Friday afternoon.

USA Track & Field has joined USA Swimming in requesting that the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee push for the postponement of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

USA Swimming published a letter Friday afternoon urging the USOPC to "use its voice and speak up for the athletes" by calling for a one-year postponement.

"Telling athletes to prepare for an Olympic Games during a global pandemic raises serious issues".

Nic Coward, the chairman of UK Athletics in Britain, told BBC Sport that leaving the Olympic starting date unchanged "is creating so much pressure in the system". At a time when we are urged to regard every fellow human being as a potential vector of disease, the most powerful administrator in sport is still entertaining the prospect, in 124 days' time, of throwing 14,000 athletes into the world's largest Petri dish. A nationwide poll reported that 70 percent of respondents opposed starting the Games on time. I understand that athletes must continue with their work but with all the respect that I have for my colleagues, I believe that it is avoidable.

"But as governments take action to protect their people - which includes closing down facilities on which athletes and para-athletes rely - and as that message is coming through more clearly now".

"We have a lot of procedures and guidelines in place", Finnoff said.

Lyons and CEO Sarah Hirshland said a lot of what has already been said from International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach, whose most recent interview in The New York Times reiterated that plans are going forward for a Tokyo Games, whether they start July 24 or some other time.

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Coward's stance found support from Baltazar Medida, head of the Colombian Olympic Committee.

In response to the USA Swimming letter, the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee's leaders said they were listening to the concerns, and would raise them when the IOC polls the world's national teams next week. One hardly needs a doctorate in epidemiology to realise that it can not happen, at least not according to the original schedule.

"In the case of the Games taking place, it could be that the competitors don't arrive at their top technical level because they have had to interrupt their preparation process".

"IOC should communicate the window for deciding on the 2020 Olympics", he said.

"We're also asking athletes if it is available to them and in a safe and in an appropriate environment, based on local health official guidance, to continue to do what they can to prepare themselves for competition". "It's forcing them to try to do things that are contrary to our national goal right now".

The coronavirus crisis has forced the cancellation or postponement of a number of Olympic qualifying events, while a number of athletes are unable to train due to containment measures.

"We'd concur with them to say we need more expert advice than we have today", Lyons said during a conference call.

Unless "the athletes' best interests" barely make the podium again. Our games are not next week, or two weeks from now. "The games are four months from now". "We are allowing the International Olympic Committee to gather that advice". "At this point in time, we do not feel that it's necessary for us to insist that they make a decision", she added.

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