UK Athletics chair Nic Coward calls on Olympic organisers to address crisis

The Olympic organisers have a decision to make whether or not to go ahead with the Games this summer (PA Images)
The Olympic organisers have a decision to make whether or not to go ahead with the Games this summer (PA Images)
13:42pm, Sat 21 Mar 2020
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UK Athletics chairman Nic Coward has called on Olympic organisers to address the issue around coronavirus as soon as possible.

Earlier this week IAAF President Sebastian Coe came out in defence of officials by stating that a decision does not need to be made yet.

But Coward believes that the longer the International Olympic Committee wait to come to an agreement, the more the pressure will build from athletes, governing bodies and fans.

Speaking to BBC Sport, he said: "To leave it where it is is creating so much pressure in the system. It now has to be addressed.

"The intensity of pressure on people right now is too great, and decisions have to be made soon."

British world champion heptathlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson criticised the communication between Olympic organisers and the athletes earlier this week, describing the situation as being one which is 'impossible' to maintain preparations in.

"We're trying to follow information with how to continue safetly whilst reducing the risk to everyone around us  and the information of the IOC and local government are at odds with one another," she said.

"The IOC advice 'encourages athletes to continue to prepare for the Olympic Games as best as they can' with the Olympics just four months away.

"But government legislation is enforcing isolation at home with tracks, gyms and public spaces closed. I feel under pressure to train and keep the same routine which is impossible."

Both Tokyo 2020 officials and the IOC have both said in the past that they will wait until May to make a final decision on whether the Games will go ahead.

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