British Cycling Chief, Stephen Park has hinted that the 2020 Olympics may be an all athlete’s affair as opposed to outright cancellation over fear of Coronavirus.
According to Sportsmail, the International Olympic Committee, World Health Organisation and leaders of various sports federations had discussed the idea of a behind-closed-doors Games as an alternative to calling it off.
Mr Park, however, was the first figure to speak publicly about the prospect.
Sportsmail noted that a number of sports in Japan, including baseball, tennis, sumo wrestling and horse racing – have already barred supporters in order to halt spread of the virus.
Senior IOC member Dick Pound, claimed the Olympics could be cancelled if coronavirus was still around by May.
He said: “Right now, I’m really confident it will go ahead. You would struggle to find a day when the Olympics didn’t take part for any reason.
“So, will it mean that they might be different? Possibly. Look at the World Cup skiing in two weeks’ time in Cortina, they are doing it on a closed circuit with no fans, and that’s going to an area that doesn’t currently have any infections.
“So might there be some of those things that happen? Possibly. Equally we are not worried about them. We are making sure that we don’t let it become a distraction or overtake the preparation.
“As soon as you start doing that, start thinking it might not happen, what are you preparing for? Does that mean you start easing off, change the budget allocation? So we are full steam ahead expecting to be there in July in Tokyo.”
Mr Park also admitted British Cycling are taking their own steps to prevent the virus from affecting their riders and staff, including overhauling the changing rooms at the National Cycling Centre in Manchester.