Amid growing pressure from athletes and national governing bodies, the International Olympic Committee is considering whether to postpone the 2020 Tokyo Olympics due to the coronavirus pandemic.
It has also set a deadline for its decision.
In a letter to athletes released Sunday, IOC president Thomas Bach wrote that the IOC has ruled out cancelling the Games completely, but is exploring different ways to stage the Tokyo Olympics — including postponement.
He indicated the IOC is still discussing the matter with key stakeholders and “we are confident” that a final decision will be made within the next four weeks.
— IOC MEDIA (@iocmedia) March 22, 2020
“Together with all the stakeholders, we have started detailed discussions today to complete our assessment of the rapid development of the worldwide health situation and its impact on the Olympic Games, including a scenario of postponement,” Bach wrote in the letter. “We are working very hard, and we are confident that we will have finalized these discussions within the next four weeks.”
The games were originally scheduled to begin July 24 in Tokyo.
The Olympics have only not gone forward as planned during periods of war. The 1916 Summer Games were cancelled during World War I, as were the Summer and Winter Games in both 1940 and 1944, due to World War II.