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Olympic chief: Don't expect Plan B for Tokyo Games

Dick Pound, a senior member of the International Olympic Committee, told the Associated Press that if the coronavirus outbreak is not resolved soon, the games likely would not be postponed or moved

Concerned: About the prospects for the Olympic Games this summer in Tokyo, Dick Pound, a senior member of the International Olympic Committee. In an interview with the Associated Press, Pound estimated that the Olympics will have no more than 2-3 months to decide the fate of the Tokyo Games amid the growing fears about the coronavirus outbreak. Should organizers decide that conditions would prove to be too dangerous to hold the Olympics, Pound said that the games likely would be canceled rather than postponed or moved to another location. “In and around that time,” Pound said Tuesday of the 2-3-month window, “I’d say folks are going to have to ask, Is this under sufficient control that we can be confident about going to Tokyo or not?” The Olympics are scheduled for July 24-Aug. 9. Men’s golf is set for July 30-Aug. 2 at Kasumigaseki Country Club near Tokyo, with the women’s tournament to follow on Aug. 5-8 at the same course. Coronavirus has killed more than 2,700 and infected 80,000-plus, most near the epicenter in Wuhan, China. The respiratory illness, with symptoms similar to those of the flu, has no vaccine nor any known cure. As the games draw near, Pound said, “a lot of things have to start happening. You’ve got to start ramping up your security, your food, the Olympic Village, the hotels. The media folks will be in there building their studios.” Pound advised the estimated 11,000 athletes who will be competing to continue training. “As far as we all know, you’re going to be in Tokyo,” he said. “All indications are at this stage that it will be business as usual. So, keep focused on your sport and be sure that the IOC is not going to send you into a pandemic situation.”

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