TOKYO 2020 OLYMPICS: IOC to decide in 4 weeks whether to postpone as Canada withdraws from the games

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The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has given itself four weeks to decide whether or not to postpone this summer's Olympic Games in Tokyo.

The IOC's Executive Board met on yesterday and decided to see how far the coronavirus spreads before making a final decision.





The cancellation of the Games altogether was ruled out.





As athletes, teams and federations called for a delay because of the coronavirus pandemic, IOC President Thomas Bach wrote a letter to potential Olympic athletes, admitting that a postponement is under consideration but stating that an immediate decision would be premature.





Bach wrote: "We are in a dilemma.





"Cancellation of the Olympic Games would destroy the Olympic dream of 11,000 athletes from all 206 National Olympic Committees, from the IOC Refugee Olympic Team, most likely for the Paralympic athletes, and for all the people who are supporting you as coaches, doctors, officials, training partners, friends and family.





"Cancellation would not solve any problem and would help nobody. Therefore it is not on our agenda.









The 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo have been thrown into further doubt after Canada became the first major country to withdraw.





Their announcement came shortly after the Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, admitted for the first time that the games could be postponed.





Meanwhile, the Australian team has said it was "clear" the games could not go ahead, and told its athletes to prepare for a 2021 games.





The games are due to begin on 24 July.



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