13 February 2020

Tokyo 2020 Olympic committee adamant games will not be cancelled despite coronavirus concerns

Tokyo 2020 chief Toshiro Muto has assured fans they are not considered cancelling or postponing the Olympic Games because of concerns over the coronavirus.

The outbreak, which originated in Wuhan, China, has already claimed more than 1,350 lives in China, while the total number of infections is fast reaching 60,000.

But speaking at a conference in Tokyo, Muto said: "I want to again state clearly that cancellation or postponement of the Tokyo Games has not been considered."

This contradicts a previous statement from the chief which admitted organisers were 'extremely worried' that the spread of the infectious virus could ;pour cold water on momentum for the Games'.

John Coates, from the International Olympic Committee, added: "Of course we have unexpected issues to deal with, for example the coronavirus outbreak is one event.

"We are looking forward to hearing today from the Japanese government, the TMG (Tokyo Metropolitan Government) and your own organisation on the work that you are doing in collaboration with the World Health Organisation... to ensure that all of the athletes, and all of the people who come to Japan for the games are not going to be affected, and that all the necessary precautions are being taken."

The outbreak has already caused the cancellation of a number of international sporting events, including Olympic qualifiers, the World Indoor Athletics Championships and most recently the Chinese Grand Prix.

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games are due to start in the Japanese capital on July 24.

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