The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has dismissed speculation that the Olympics will not go ahead in Tokyo this summer.
Reports have emerged this week that the games will not go ahead, as Japan, like the rest of the planet, battles an escalation in coronavirus cases.
IOC statement on media reports regarding Tokyo 2020 pic.twitter.com/647pj5mx9U
— IOC MEDIA (@iocmedia) January 22, 2021
The IOC have dismissed these reports, as have politicians in Japan.
"Some news reports circulating today are claiming that the government of Japan has privately concluded that the Tokyo Olympics will have to be cancelled because of the coronavirus. This is categorically untrue." read the statement.
"At an IOC Executive Board meeting in July last year, it was agreed that the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 would be held on July 23 this year and the programme and venues for the Games were rescheduled accordingly. All parties involved are working together to prepare for a successful Games this summer.
"We will be implementing all possible countermeasures against COVID-19 and will continue to work closely with the IOC, the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, and the Toyko Metropolitan Government in our preparations for holding a safe and secure Games this summer."
The IOC Board then reiterated its support for the Olympics and Paralympics going ahead as planned.
Sebastian Coe, head of World Athletics, also moved to reassure fans and locals that it would go ahead in a secure environment. “There is an absolute, cast-iron determination,” Coe told Reuters, saying that the arrival of vaccines and ability of athletes to train meant the situation was far better than when the Games were postponed last year.
However, the report in the Times suggested that an unnamed senior member of the ruling coalition admitted the Games are "doomed." The task now for Japan, who have already spent more money than any other nation to stage an Olympic games, is to come up with a way to make the cancellation announcement without losing face.