'Cancellation', 'postponement' of Olympics over virus not mentioned at IOC meet - Bach

Lausanne (AFP) –


International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach insisted that the nightmare scenario of either cancelling or postponing the Tokyo Olympics was not discussed at a key meeting on Wednesday despite fears over the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

"Neither the word cancellation nor postponement was mentioned today during the Executive Board meeting," Bach told reporters.

"I will not add fuel to the flames of speculation. Our statement from yesterday is very clear -- we are fully committed to the success of the Tokyo Games."

The Olympics take place from July 24-August 9.

However, many sporting events around the world have either been cancelled or postponed in the wake of the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Around 3,200 people have died and over 90,000 have been infected in more than 60 countries worldwide.

The vast majority of cases are in China, but South Korea, Italy and Iran have emerged as the countries with the most cases outside the epicentre.

The virus, however, has infected at least 230 people across Japan and been linked to five deaths.

Bach said that a working group had been created made up of the IOC, Tokyo 2020 organisers, the city of Tokyo, the Japanese government and the World Health Organization (WHO).

"We have this joint working group which holds regular meetings. We examine every question which may arise but we do not speculate on possible future developments," added Bach.