IOC and Japanese government deny rumors suggesting Olympics set to be cancelled

The Olympic rings.

by Dane Cash

photography by Cor Vos

Amid media reports suggesting that the Japanese government has decided that the upcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo must be called off, the International Olympic Committee released a statement to the contrary quoting the Japanese government.

“Some news reports circulating today are claiming that the Government of Japan has privately concluded that the Tokyo Olympics will have to be cancelled because of the coronavirus. This is categorically untrue,” read the statement.

That denial was apparently in response to a story published by The Times on Thursday in which an unnamed source was quoted as saying, “No one wants to be the first to say so but the consensus is that it’s too difficult.”

The article suggested that the Japanese government was looking for a way in which it could announce the news while keeping a future opportunity to host the Olympics still open.

The statement released by the IOC on Friday was insistent that organizers were still planning to run the 2021 Games in Tokyo.

“At an IOC Executive Board meeting in July last year, it was agreed that the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 would be held on July 23 this year and the programme and venues for the Games were rescheduled accordingly. All parties involved are working together to prepare for a successful Games this summer,” said the Japanese government in the statement.

“We will be implementing all possible countermeasures against COVID-19 and will continue to work closely with the IOC, the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee, and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government in our preparations for holding a safe and secure Games this summer.”

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