Image Credits: Jerwin Suba
On Sunday evening, World Athletics became the first major sport to call for the Olympics to be postponed with its president, Seb Coe, writing to Bach to tell him that Tokyo 2020 taking place as planned in July and August is “neither feasible nor desirable” amid growing international concern over the pandemic.
“I write to you to request that the Games be moved,” Coe wrote, pointing out the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak meant there was no longer a level playing for athletes. He also warned there could be increased risk of athletes suffering injury and said that athletes could put their health and the health of their families at risk by continuing to train.
Several competitors and National Olympic Committees have called for a postponement because of the impact the outbreak has had on athletes' training programmes and qualification for Tokyo 2020.
A growing number of countries have imposed nationwide lockdowns, travel restrictions and bans on events involving a certain amount of people as a result of the pandemic.
Coe said measures being introduced across the world means athletes "will push themselves even harder closer to an Olympic Games which will increase the propensity for injury which will have serious effects on athletes next year and possibly longer".
"Every area is witnessing daily struggles athletes are going through having to choose, if indeed they have a choice, of how and where to train, at what risk to their health and the health of their families and increasingly at the cost of their own emotional wellbeing," the World Athletics head wrote.
"The uncertainty of the Olympic Games happening in July and the inherent desire and motivation to excel that resides in all our athletes is causing real anguish that we can, collectively, put a stop to."