The U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC) urged Olympics officials Monday to postpone the 2020 Tokyo Games amid the coronavirus pandemic, The Hill reports.
USOPC Chair Susanne Lyons and CEO Sarah Hirshland said in a statement that it received input from Team USA athletes on their concerns regarding going forward with the 2020 games in Tokyo as the coronavirus crisis continues.
The USOPC said it wants to “put athletes first” and after discussions, understands the “diversity of challenges our athletes face.”
“Our most important conclusion from this broad athlete response is that even if the current significant health concerns could be alleviated by late summer, the enormous disruptions to the training environment, doping controls and qualification process can’t be overcome in a satisfactory manner,” the committee said in a statement.
“To that end, it’s more clear than ever that the path toward postponement is the most promising, and we encourage the IOC to take all needed steps to ensure the Games can be conducted under safe and fair conditions for all competitors,” it added.
This announcement follows an International Olympic Committee (IOC) member’s comments to USA Today Monday that the 2020 games will be postponed as the virus continues to rock countries around the world. The IOC said Sunday that a postponement was under consideration but had previously denied any plans to delay in the past.
Australia and Canada have both declared they would not participate in the Olympics if it occurred as scheduled at the end of July. Global Athlete, which represents Olympic hopefuls, USA Swimming and USA Track & Field have all pushed for the games to be delayed.
Worldwide, the coronavirus has infected more than 378,000 people, killing more than 16,500, with more than 100,000 recoveries, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.