The International Olympic Committee (IOC) says this year’s rescheduled Tokyo Olympics will go ahead, despite reports that fans might be absent due to COVID-19 safety concerns.
IOC president Thomas Bach says speculation the event might be cancelled or postponed again as the coronavirus pandemic continues to ravage much of the world is “hurting the athletes and is not helpful”.
“We are not speculating on whether the Olympic Games are taking place, we are working on how the Olympic Games will take place,” said Bach. “We are working on the basis of having all athletes there, in Tokyo, for all events.”
Mr Bach reiterated that a wave system for athletes at the Tokyo Games was under discussion, with participants staying for five days before being flown out and replaced by those whose events come later.
He confirmed that while the IOC would not require athletes to have a coronavirus “jab”, the hope was that as many as possible would receive the vaccine in the second or third wave, after high-risk groups have been treated.
Mr Bach says all 206 national Olympic committees – along with the sports federations, athletes’ representatives and Japanese organisers – stand behind the IOC in wanting the Games to go ahead.
The Tokyo Summer Olympic Games are due to run from July 23 to August 8.