dpa/GNA – Dick Pound, the longest-serving International Olympic Committee (IOC) member, is not sure if the Tokyo 2020 Games, postponed to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic, will go ahead as planned.
“I can’t be certain because the ongoing elephant in the room would be the surges in the virus,” he was quoted by the BBC late Thursday.
On Tuesday Japan and the IOC reaffirmed the plans for “safe and protected Games” in July and August. But less than 200 days to the opening ceremony, Pound’s statements are now fuelling concerns around the world’s biggest sports event.
Pound also said that athletes should be high up the priority list when it comes to getting vaccinated.
However, the IOC stated competitors would not be obligated to get vaccinated, but added: “Athletes are important role models, and by taking the vaccine they can send a powerful message that vaccination is not only about personal health, but also about solidarity and consideration for the well-being of others in their communities.”
It is still unclear whether spectators will also be admitted to the Games. The measures against the coronavirus should cost organizers an additional 760 million euros (928 million dollars).