KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTS: Thomas Bach has acknowledged doubts over the staging of the postponed Tokyo Olympic Games next year but only because of the worldwide uncertainty prompted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The president of the International Olympic Committee was addressing an online media briefing.

He said: “I am sure that one thing in this uncertain world and situation is that the environment in July, August – and this also applies to August, September because we are fully aligned with the International Paralympic Committee – that the environment for Tokyo will be different from today.

“We don’t know what the world will look like tomorrow, so how can you expect us to know what it will look like in 320 days from today.”

In the meantime various IOC and Tokyo panels are pressing ahead with their planning.

Bach said: “The Games working group is preparing for different scenarios. We do not know what the environment will be next year, so it is too early to say today which will prevail.¬†”

The saving grace for the Games could be a vaccine.

Bach said: “I think we can be cautiously optimistic, based on our information and the contacts we have with experts and the World Health Organisation and also with pharmaceutical companies.

“But a vaccine and rapid tests will not be the silver bullet.¬†They will only be able to facilitate the organisation of the Games and, hopefully, the events leading up to them.”