Abe, the editorial argues, has made the games a point of national pride, while Japan has spent heavily on the event, and the International Olympic Committee is "banking on billions of dollars in broadcast rights". "It is a complex undertaking and you can only act responsibly when you have a clear decision-making foundation".
The IOC also said it would make a decision on the Games, set to open on July 24, within the next four weeks and repeated its insistence that a cancellation was not being considered. "The USOPC will be leaders in providing accurate advice and honest feedback, and be unfailing advocates of the athletes and their safety, and the necessity of a fair platform for the games. A cancellation would destroy the Olympic dream of 11,000 athletes of 206 Olympic committees".
International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach insisted this week it was "premature" to consider postponing the Tokyo Games.
"Of course we are considering different scenarios, but we are contrary to many other sports organizations or professional leagues in that we are four-and-a-half months away from the Games", Bach said.
Chief executive Max Siegel said the USTAF "understood" the ramification of postponing the Games for the first time ever in peace time, but that moving forward would not be in the best interest of athletes.
Coward's stance found support from Baltazar Medida, head of the Colombian Olympic Committee.
The NOC also pointed out that one of the measures undertaken in order to curb the spread of the virus in Norway was a ban on organised sports activities, which had created "a very challenging time for the sports movement in Norway". The IOC did not comment.
Several countries are in lockdown after pro bike racing has been canceled through at least the end of April, preventing cyclists from training outdoors.
"Human lives take precedence over everything, including the staging of the Games", Bach wrote.
His Croatian counterpart, Zlatko Matesa, said it was "impossible" to proceed with the Olympics under the current circumstances. "Sports has come to a halt in all of Europe and no one knows when it will resume", Matesa said. "It won't be a dramatic delay". In a letter to the Olympic Committee, the USATF has acknowledged that the "global pandemic has grown" and keeping in mind the health and safety of their coaches, players, athletes and other staff, the federation made the decision.
"But as governments take action to protect their people - which includes closing down facilities on which athletes and para-athletes rely - and as that message is coming through more clearly now".
The last few days have seen a subtle but important shift in tone as Olympic leaders and Japanese officials discuss the upcoming 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo. "I think they knew it was not the best date but rather than canceling they have preferred to put that date". "So those dates in my view are not possible".
He said due to their complexity "you can't postpone the Olympic Games like a football match next Saturday", and insisted that any decision required reliable and clear information.
Bach also addressed athletes who wish to compete at the Tokyo Olympics in a public letter Sunday.
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