21 April 2020
Beijing: The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has explained that the Tokyo Olympic Games were scheduled to 2021 instead of 2022 because the host country, Japan, could not manage a postponement beyond next summer.
"Our Japanese partners and the Prime Minister made it very clear that Japan could not manage a postponement beyond next summer at the latest. It is a mammoth undertaking, both for the Organizing Committee and the country as a whole," the IOC said in a Q&A post, reports Xinhua news agency.
"First of all, you need to secure the availability of the Olympic Village, since that is at the heart of the Games. The same applies to all the sports venues. Thousands of people will need to carry on working. All the partners, sponsors and regional and local governments need to pull together.
"Postponement will involve restrictions and compromises on the part of everyone involved. There is no blueprint for postponement, but the IOC is very confident that all the complex parts will come together and give us a marvellous Games."
The postponement also caused financial difficulties to some International Federations (IFs) which rely on the dividends of the Olympic Games.
"We are conscious of the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on the International Federations and have already started discussions with them on which role the IOC can play in addressing this situation, including support in accessing government and other support programmes which may be available."
The IOC also made clear that athletes who finish serving their anti-doping suspensions before the Tokyo 2020 unveils in 2021 could be eligible to participate in the Games.
"WADA, as the global anti-doping regulatory body, has clarified that under the current rules, doping bans are chronological and not event-specific. The IOC has tried on several occasions to introduce rules that would exclude athletes convicted of doping from the subsequent Olympic Games. This has never been allowed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS)," the IOC stated.
The IOC added that it will continue to support WADA to take measures "to protect clean athletes and ensure that the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and the qualifying events are held in the best possible conditions under current." Samples taken during pre-Games testing will be re-tested as soon as improved testing methods become available after the current restricted testing period.