A senior Olympics official has warned that holding the postponed Tokyo Games next year faces “real problems ” , with even a vaccine unlikely to stave off the threat of the coronavirus .
John Coates , the International Olympic Committee ’ s pointman for Tokyo 2020 , indicated that officials would start deciding in October if and how the pandemic – hit Games could go ahead in July 2021 .
He told a roundtable organised by Australian media giant News Corp that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been clear the Tokyo Olympics could not be delayed a second time .
“We can ’ t postpone it again and we have to assume that there won ’ t be a vaccine or , if there is a vaccine, it won ’ t be sufficient to share around the world , ” he said .
Without the safety net of a widely available vaccine, there could be enormous challenges in screening tens of thousands of people from all corners of the world , he said .
“ We’ ve got real problems because we ’ ve got athletes having to come from 206 different nations, ” said Coates .
“ We’ ve got 11 , 000 athletes coming , 5 , 000 technical officials and coaches , 20, 000 media, we’ ve got 4 , 000 working on the organising committee there at the moment , there will be 60, 000 volunteers coming , ” he said .
“ There’ s a lot of people . ”
Coates said if there are signs the pandemic is contained , even if not eradicated , by October , officials will start preparing “the different scenarios by which the sport could take place” .
“ Do we quarantine the Olympic village ?
Do all athletes when they get there go into quarantine ?
Do we restrict having spectators at the venues?
Do we separate the athletes from the mixed zone where the media are?”
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