The International Olympic Committee and Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe have concluded the Tokyo 2020 Olympics must be postponed, and held no later than the summer of 2021, the IOC and Tokyo 2020 organisers said on Tuesday.
Abe said they had established that cancelling the Games was out of the question, and that Bach had agreed "100 percent" that a postponement was the most appropriate response to the global disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
"The situation is difficult. Postponing or cancelling the Olympics is a complex subject and we cannot be sure what the future holds," 2008 Beijing Olympics gold medalist Gerd Kanter said on ETV current affairs show "Ringvaade" on Monday, when postponing the Games was still a speculation.
"As the world is tackling great challenges, it seems crazy for the IOC to be adamant the Olympics will go ahead. The developments over the last two weeks have been a real rollercoaster ride and I believe we can now say that the Games will not start on July 24," the former discus thrower added.
The United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee said on Monday the Summer Olympics in Tokyo should be postponed. The committee said it had surveyed some 4,000 of its athletes over the weekend and 65 percent of those that responded indicated their training had been severely impacted or halted entirely due to restrictions designed to slow the spread of the virus. The statement came after Canada and Australia said they would not send athletes to the Games due to the coronavirus outbreak.
"I believe the Tokyo Games cannot move toward the 'complete form' that the prime minister Shinzo Abe has mentioned as long as countries of the world have not put an end to the coronavirus," Japanese Olympics Minister Seiko Hashimoto said on Tuesday morning.
"So, it's first and foremost for us to join forces and respond firmly for putting an end to the coronavirus," she said.
Editor: Anders Nõmm