12:46 GMT24 October 2020
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    The move comes as the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues its spread to over 180 countries and territories, currently infecting more than 378,000 people, with over 16,500 dead worldwide.

    The US Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) on Monday called on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to postpone the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, due to the spread of the disease, USOPC Chair Susanne Lyons and CEO Sarah Hirshland said in a joint statement.

    The two officials said that the decision was made following a survey among US athletes, most of whom supported a postponement of the games.

    “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,” Lyons and Hirshland said in the statement.

    “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”.

    Earlier on Monday, Dick Pound, a member of the IIOC, said in an interview with USA TODAY that a decision had been made to postpone the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

    Earlier this month, a number of national Olympic committees called on the IOC to postpone the Games for a year.

    According to the Johns Hopkins University tally, there are globally over 378,000 confirmed coronavirus cases which killed almost 16,500 people.


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