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Olympic chief says Games would be canceled if not held in 2021

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  • Thomas Bach
    Thomas Bach
    German fencer and sports official, president of the IOC

The Tokyo Olympic Games have already been pushed back once to 2021, but now International Olympic Committee (IOC) chief Thomas Bach says the world’s biggest sporting spectacle would have to be scrapped altogether if the event is unable to be held next year.

In March, the IOC and Japanese government took the unprecedented decision to delay the Games, which had been due to start in July, to protect the health of athletes and spectators.

However, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has said the multi-sports event cannot take place in 2021 unless medical assurances were in place and Bach said he understood his position.

Speaking in an interview to with the BBC on Wednesday (May 20) Bach said "You can't every year change the entire sports schedule worldwide of all the major federations. You can't have the athletes being in uncertainty."

Bach is still committed to holding the Games next year, though admits there could be a very different feel to the athletes village with quarantining measures not being ruled out.

He added they are waiting for a clearer picture of how the world will look by July next year before making appropriate decisions.

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