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USA Gymnastics calls for Tokyo Olympics to be postponed

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Los Angeles (AFP)

USA Gymnastics joined the growing number of sports federations calling for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics to be postponed in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement posted on its Twitter account, the federation said it was making the move after a survey found 62 percent of its athletes who responded were in favor of delaying the Games now scheduled for July 24-August 9.

"After considering the responses from athletes who participated in our survey & the 62% who were in favor of delaying the Games, we are adding our voice to the chorus advocating for postponement," the federation said.

"We are grateful to have our athletes' insight and input to guide this decision."

USA Swimming and USA Track and Field had already urged the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee to press the International Olympic Committee for a delay.

The USOPC has declined to do so, although on Sunday it welcomed IOC president Thomas Bach's promise that a decision would be made within four weeks.

That's not soon enough for many. On Sunday, Canada said it would not send a team to Tokyo this summer, urging the IOC to postpone the Games for a year.

World Athletics and a string of other national Olympic committees have also come out in favor of pushing back the Games as athletes struggle to prepare as facilities are closed and health authorities urge people to practice social distancing to slow the spread of the deadly virus.

The US women's gymnastics team, led by Simone Biles, won a second straight team gold at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

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