IOC's Coates says no Plan B for Toyko Olympic Games in 2021

SHOWS:

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA (MAY 9, 2020) (NINE NETWORK - Broadcasters: NO USE AUSTRALIA / NEW ZEALAND / PAPUA NEW GUINEA Digital: NO USE AUSTRALIA, NEW ZEALAND, PAPUA NEW GUINEA-BASED INTERNET SITES, MOBILE PLATFORMS OR SITES OF MEDIA ORGANISATIONS BASED IN THOSE COUNTRIES, NVO CLIENTS/ SMH.COM.AU/ NEWS.COM.AU)

1. AUSTRALIAN OLYMPIC COMMITTEE CHIEF EXECUTIVE MATT CARROLL AND AUSTRALIAN OLYMPIC COMMITTEE PRESIDENT JOHN COATES ENTERING NEWS CONFERENCE

2. (SOUNDBITE) (English) AUSTRALIAN OLYMPIC COMMITTEE PRESIDENT JOHN COATES, SAYING:

"We've got a taskforce at the IOC, a taskforce in Japan. This is a massive exercise and we are working through now getting the same venues, the same 43 venues. We've got the same dates, so the same scheduling. We're doing all of that. We're proceeding on the basis that well there is no Plan B of deferring the games again or anything like that."

3. (SOUNDBITE) (English) AUSTRALIAN OLYMPIC COMMITTEE CHIEF EXECUTIVE MATT CARROLL, SAYING:

"And all our team planning and work with the athletes is on the basis, as John just said, that there won't be a vaccine and therefore the protocols will be in place. So that's the approach we're taking. The athletes just like that certainty and they're still preparing hard, working hard for the games. The thing that they are and would like to know more about very soon is the ability of the international federations for the final qualifications and that's starting to come out now through the IOC and that's what the athletes are looking forward to, knowing when those competitions will be."

4. WHITE FLASH

5. (SOUNDBITE) (English) AUSTRALIAN OLYMPIC COMMITTEE CHIEF EXECUTIVE MATT CARROLL, SAYING:

"What sport needs to do is to take it carefully, make sure it's safe for the athletes, but importantly, safe for the community. The last thing we need is for sport to cause an outbreak of the virus in the community. So we're taking it very carefully and one step at a time."

6. WHITE FLASH

7. CARROLL AND COATES ENDING NEWS CONFERENCE

STORY: Senior international Olympics official John Coates said on Saturday (May 9) that the delayed Tokyo Olympics are proceeding with no Plan B in 2021.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Japanese government postponed the Games in March until July 2021 because of the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

With the epidemic's worldwide infection rate climbing and experts suggesting a vaccine is still a long way off, questions are being asked about whether the huge set piece event might need to be delayed further. Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) CEO Matt Carroll said that the country's athletes were planning and working on the basis that there would not be a vaccine by the time of the games.

Coates, Australia's Olympic chief and head of the International Olympic Committee's inspectorate for the Games, and Carroll were speaking in Sydney after the annual general meeting of the Australian Olympic Committee.

Coates, who has been president of the AOC since 1990, also said he was confident the body was financially in "good order" to come through "this time of some chaos" after a raft of cost-cutting measures.

(Production: James Redmayne)