GENEVA, March 19: Regional Olympic officials are rallying around the IOC and have backed its stance on opening the Tokyo Games as scheduled, as direct criticism from gold medallist athletes built amid the coronavirus outbreak. Leaders of continental Olympic groups praised the IOC after a conference call on Wednesday to update them on coronavirus issues four months before the opening ceremony in Tokyo on July 24.
�We are living through an unpredictable crisis and as such, it is important that we have one policy, expressed by the IOC, and we follow that policy in unison,� the Italy-based European Olympic Committees said.
However, when the International Olympic Committee published an interview with its president, Thomas Bach, after a separate call with athlete representatives, it prompted a four-time Olympic champion to urge postponing the games. Bach acknowledged that many athletes were concerned about qualifying events being cancelled, but noted that there were still four months to go until the games are set to be opened. � AP