John Coates, Head of the IOC Coordination Commission for the Olympic Games and close ally of IOC President Thomas Bach, insisted that the coming Games would not depend on the development of a vaccine over the next 15 months .
“I’ve seen this opinion, but the advice we receive from the World Health Organization says that we have to keep planning for this date and that’s what we do, and it doesn’t depend on a vaccine Said Coates.
“A vaccine would be nice. But we will continue to be guided, as we must be, by WHO and the Japanese health authorities because, in all of this, the health and well-being of athletes and other participants in the Games is number one priority. “
However, the divergence on the issue between the organizers and the IOC was further accentuated when Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe admitted that it would be difficult to host the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2021 unless the coronavirus pandemic is contained.
When asked by an opposition MP if Tokyo could host the Games next year, Abe told the Japanese parliament, “The Olympic Games must be organized to show that the world has won its battle against the pandemic of coronavirus. Otherwise, it will be difficult to hold the Games. “
Tokyo 2020 President Yoshiro Mori said in an interview published Tuesday that the Games – which were to start on July 24 before being postponed by a year – would be “cut” if they could not take place in 2021 Japan has recorded more than 13,000 Covid-19 infections and nearly 400 deaths.
Meanwhile, in an open letter to the Olympic movement, IOC President Thomas Bach admitted that postponing the Tokyo Games would cost the organization hundreds of millions of dollars, and provided for belt tightening measures in a post-virus world.
“Although it is too early to give an exact figure, we already know that we have to pay several hundred million dollars in deferral costs,” wrote Bach. “This is why we must also review and review all the services we provide for these postponed Games. “
Bach said the IOC would do its best to help those affected by the crisis and was already in “fruitful discussions” with athletes, national Olympic committees and international sports federations. But he hinted that there could be fewer sporting events in the next Games.
“At the moment, nobody knows what the realities of the post-coronavirus world will look like,” he said. “For the Olympic Movement as a whole, we may also have to take a closer look at the proliferation of sporting events, as we have already mentioned at previous Olympic summits. Financial pressure on all stakeholders, including the NOCs, IFs and organizing committees, may require further consolidation in this regard. “
Elsewhere, the global pandemic continues to affect the sports calendar, with the Vuelta a España canceling the plan to set up this year’s start in the Netherlands due to the “exceptional world situation”.
While the Vuelta organizers still hope that the event will take place, after the world championships and possibly until November according to some reports, they will now look for a new route.
“The departure of La Vuelta 20 from Holland was a project that had been designed as a big summer party,” La Vuelta Holanda said in a statement. “Faced with the impossibility of ensuring the planned development of the official start of the race, with all the guarantees required for an event of these characteristics, La Vuelta Holanda preferred to request the cancellation of the official start. “
The Vuelta was scheduled to take place between August 14 and September 6, but the UCI announced earlier this month that it should be postponed until late fall after the Tour de France reorganization.