After doing a survey of 1780 USA Olympic hopefuls, the USOPC somewhat tentatively joined the chorus of Olympic committees calling for the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Games in a statement last night.
Noting problems of training disruptions, doping controls, and qualification paths, the statement stops just short of a definitive call for postponement, stating that "it's more clear than ever that the path toward postponement is the most promising, and we encourage the IOC to take all needed steps to ensure the Games can be conducted under safe and fair conditions for all competitors."
Read the full statement below.
- COVID-19 Team USA Athlete Survey results (download)
The survey found that:
- Nearly 65% of athletes said their training has been severely impacted or they cant train at all.
- 25% of athletes reported they cannot train at all.
- Less than 10% reported they could continue to train without any adverse impact.
- Nearly two-thirds of athletes feel that continuing to train would either put their health at risk or aren’t sure if it would put their health at risk.
- 87% of athletes cited local regulations as affecting their training, and 43% cited personal concerns affecting their training.
- Nearly 70% of athletes said they would feel comfortable competing if the World Health Organization deemed it safe.
- However, 68% also said they did not think the Games could be fairly competed if continued as scheduled.
Some legal experts have noted that a unilateral move by either the Japanese LOC or the IOC could result in massive lawsuits, so a mutual agreement on postponement will be needed for any definitive decision to be made.
A call is scheduled between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe,International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach, Tokyo 2020 organizing committee head Yoshiro Mori, and Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike for 8pm Tuesday Japan time (7am EDT), so movement toward that end may come today.
“We are thankful to the 1,780 Team USA athletes for sharing their voice and honest input with us as we address the issues related to COVID-19 and the Tokyo Games, and make good on our promise to put athletes first. We are now confident that we have heard a wide range of viewpoints and understand the diversity of challenges our athletes face. We regret that there is no outcome that can solve all the concerns we face. Our most important conclusion from this broad athlete response is that even if the current significant health concerns could be alleviated by late summer, the enormous disruptions to the training environment, doping controls and qualification process can’t be overcome in a satisfactory manner. To that end, it’s more clear than ever that the path toward postponement is the most promising, and we encourage the IOC to take all needed steps to ensure the Games can be conducted under safe and fair conditions for all competitors. We look forward to their feedback and direction, and stand ready to work in support of Team USA and in full cooperation with the global community.”
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