People, wearing face masks as a preventive measure against the spread of COVID-19, sit at a bus stop in front of an advertisement for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics Games in Bangkok on Monday. — AFP/VNA Photo
LOS ANGELES — The US Olympic and Paralympic Committee voiced support for delaying the Tokyo Games on Monday after a survey showed an overwhelming majority of American athletes backed a postponement.
While US Olympic officials stopped short of demanding that the July 24-August 9 Games be pushed back in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, they said information gleaned in the survey showed "it's more clear than ever that the path toward postponement is the most promising.
"We encourage the International Olympic Committee to take all needed steps to ensure the Games can be conducted under safe and fair conditions for all competitors," the USOPC said in a carefully worded statement.
The USOPC said 1,780 US athletes responded to the survey, and 68 percent said they did not think the Games could be fairly contested as scheduled.
"Our most important conclusion from this broad athlete response is that even if the current significant health concerns could be alleviated by late summer, the enormous disruptions to the training environment, doping controls and qualification process can't be overcome in a satisfactory manner," the USOPC said adding that officials look forward to feedback and direction from the IOC "and stand ready to work in support of Team USA and in full cooperation with the global community."
The findings come amid mounting international demands for a postponement of the Olympics.
The US national governing bodies for athletics, swimming and gymnastics have all called for a postponement. — AFP