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More pressure comes on Tokyo Olympics as USA athletes call for postponement

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The sun sets behind the Olympic rings installation at Odaiba Marine Park on March 18, 2020 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

The sun sets behind the Olympic rings installation at Odaiba Marine Park on March 18, 2020 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Getty Images

The sun sets behind the Olympic rings installation at Odaiba Marine Park on March 18, 2020 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Pressure continues to build on the International Olympic Committee to postpone the 2020 games scheduled to begin in July.

USA Track and Field is the latest organisation to support the call. So far IOC President Thomas Bach has insisted that cancellation is not on the agenda.

However, in an interview with the New York Times, he conceded for the first time that the IOC were ‘considering different scenarios’ but claimed it was too early to make a decision about postponing the games.

In a letter to the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee, the chief executive of USA Track and Field, Max Siegel, has formally asked them to push the IOC to postpone the summer games.

Siegel writes: "As you know, the Olympic Games are only a few months away. This is a critical time for our athletes to train and compete, as they seek to put themselves in the best possible position to represent our country.

"Our goal remains to achieve athletic excellence during the Olympic Games, but not at the expense and safety and well-being of our athletes.

"Unfortunately, while our world class athletes are willing to push themselves to their athletic limit in pursuit of Olympic success, the likelihood that they will be able to properly train in a safe and adequate environment, and replicate the excellence we have all to come expect, does not appear likely in the midst of this global crisis."

"As we have learned our athletes are under tremendous pressure, stress and anxiety, and their mental health and wellness is among our highest priorities," argues Siegel who calls on the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee to advocate to the IOC to postpone the Games.

"We certainly understand the ramifications of this request, and the realities of trying to coordinate the logistics of a postponed Olympic Games around the schedules of other athletes, sports federations, key stakeholders, etc, but the alternative of moving forward in the light of the current global situation would not be in the best interest of our athletes -as difficult as that decision might be."

Online Editors