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Olympics could be delayed, but too early for decision: Sebastian Coe

World Athletics chief Sebastian Coe admitted yesterday that the Tokyo Olympics could be moved to later in the year by the coronavirus outbreak, but said it was too early to make a definitive decision.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) acknowledged on Wednesday there was no "ideal" solution as a growing number of athletes expressed concern.

The Covid-19 pandemic is playing havoc with the global sporting calendar, forcing the postponement of Euro 2020 and suspension of other sports.

IOC president Thomas Bach said earlier this week that starting on schedule on July 24 remained the world body's goal.

But Coe, who is a member of the Tokyo Olympics Games Coordination Commission, conceded in an interview with the BBC that a delay was possible.

"That is possible, anything is possible at the moment," said Coe, when asked whether the Games could be postponed to September or October.

"But I think the position that sport has certainly taken, and it was certainly the temperature of the room in the conversation I had the other day with the IOC and our other federations, is that nobody is saying we will be going to the Games come what may.

"But it isn't a decision that has to be made at this moment."

Coe, who played a pivotal role in securing the Olympics for London in 2012, said postponing the Games until 2021 could present problems.

"Member federations actually avoid Olympic years often to have their world championships," said the 63-year-old, who won the 1,500m gold medal at the 1980 and 1984 Olympics.

Separately, Japan Olympic Committee board member Kaori Yamaguchi has said the Games should be postponed because athletes are unable to prepare adequately because of the pandemic, reported the Nikkei newspaper. - AFP, REUTERS

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