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Preparations for Tokyo 2020 continuing as planned, says IOC spokesperson

Xinhua | Updated: 2020-02-26 17:10
FILE PHOTO: Summer sunshine is seen through Olympic rings displayed at Nihonbashi district in Tokyo, Japan August 5, 2019. [Photo/Agencies]

BEIJING - Tokyo 2020 organizers are working with the IOC and other relevant organizations towards a successful Games despite the COVID-19 epidemic and "the rest is speculation", an IOC spokesperson told Xinhua through e-mail.

The e-mail follows former IOC vice-president Dick Pound's assertion in an interview with Associated Press that organizers are facing a three-month window to decide the fate of the Games, and speculation of a possible cancelation should the virus continue to spread.

"Dick Pound explains very well that the IOC continues to work towards a successful 2020 Olympic Games beginning at the end of July. The IOC has just reiterated that preparations for the Tokyo Olympic Games continue as planned," the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson also emphasized the importance of containing the disease and expressed confidence in the relevant authorities.

Acting torchbearer and Actress Satomi Ishihara (R), one of the Official Ambassadors of the Tokyo 2020 Torch Relay pose with the Olympic torch during a rehearsal as part of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay in Hamura, outskirts of Tokyo, Japan, February 15, 2020. [Photo/Agencies]

"Countermeasures against infectious diseases constitute an important part of Tokyo 2020's plans to host a safe and secure Games. Tokyo 2020 will continue to collaborate with all relevant organizations which carefully monitor any incidence of infectious diseases and will review any countermeasures that may be necessary with all relevant organizations," the spokesperson noted.

"In addition, the IOC is in contact with the World Health Organization, as well as its own medical experts. We have full confidence that the relevant authorities, in particular in Japan and China, will take all the necessary measures to address the situation. The rest is speculation."

Earlier on Wednesday, Japanese government spokesman Yoshihide Suga said at a daily briefing that Pound's words do not represent the IOC's official position, and reiterated that the IOC is proceeding with preparations toward the Games as scheduled.

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games are scheduled to be held between July 24 and August 9, while the Paralympics will take place from August 25 to September 6.

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