TORONTO/SYDNEY: Canada and Australia – whatever the International Olympic Committee eventually decides – will not send teams to the Tokyo Games if they go ahead as scheduled in July and August because of the health risks.
Both countries’ Olympic committees, calling for the Games to be postponed until next year, wasted no time reacting to Sunday’s move by the IOC’s executive board to spend the next four weeks studying “scenario-planning”, ie postponement.
A joint statement said: “While we recognize the inherent complexities around a postponement, nothing is more important than the health and safety of our athletes and the world community. This is not solely about athlete health, it is about public health.”
The Australian Olympic Committee’s executive board met via teleconference Monday and agreed that a team could not be assembled given the fluid circumstances around the world. Chef de mission Ian Chesterman said; “It’s clear the Games can’t be held in July. Our athletes have been magnificent in their positive attitude to training and preparing but the stress and uncertainty has been extremely challenging for them.”
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has also now conceded that postponement may be inevitable if the Games cannot be held in a complete form.