EFFECTS OF COVID-19 ON OLYMPICS
In January 2020, concerns were raised about the potential impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on athletes and visitors to the Olympic Games.The Tokyo organizers insisted that they were monitoring the outbreak to minimize its effects on preparations for the Olympics. Unlike the case of Zika virus during the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, the SARS-CoV-2 virus can be transmitted directly between humans, posing tougher challenges for the organizers to counteract the infectious disease and host a safe and secure Games. According to an estimate conducted by professor emeritus Katsuhiro Miyamoto of Kansari University , and reported by the NHK , the cost of delaying the 2020 Olympics by one year will be 640.8 billion yen (US$5.8 billion), taking into account maintenance expenditures for the unused facilities.
POSTPONMENT of Olympics…? Change of HOSTS…? Cancellation of OLYMPICS…?
In a February 2020 interview with City A.M, the Conservative Londona Mayoral Candidate Shaun Bailey argued that London would be able to host the Olympic Games at the former London 2012 Olympics venues , should the Games need to be moved because of the coronavirus outbreak. Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike criticized Bailey's comment as inappropriate. So, after this Tokyo kept on releasing statements at regular intervals like:
On 2 March 2020, the Tokyo Organzing Committee (TOCOG) released a statement saying that preparations for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics were "continuing as planned". The following day, a spokesperson for theInternational Olympic Committee (IOC) confirmed that the Games would proceed according to schedule.
On 18 March, the IOC repeated its opposition to a delay or cancellation.
· On 23 March, three countries—Canada, Australia, and Great Britain—said they would withdraw from the Games if they were not postponed by a year. On the same day, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe stated that he would support a proposed postponement, citing that ensuring athlete safety was "paramount". That same day, veteran IOC member and former vice president Dick Pound told USA Today that he expected the Games to be postponed.
On 24 March 2020, the IOC and TOCOG announced that the 2020 Summer Olympics and Paralympics would be "rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021". They stated that the Games "could stand as a beacon of hope to the world during these troubled times and that the Olympic flame could become the light at the end of the tunnel in which the world finds itself at present." Prime Minister Abe stated that IOC president Thomas Bach "responded with 100% agreement" to his proposal to delay the Games. For continuity and marketing purposes, the Games will still be branded as Tokyo 2020, despite the change in scheduling. Although several Olympics have been outright cancelled by world wars, including the 1940 Summer Olympics this marks the first Olympics to ever be postponed to a later date instead.
On 30 March 2020, the IOC and TOCOG announced that they had reached an agreement on the new dates for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics, which would now open on 23 July 2021 with the Closing Ceremony to take place on 8 August. The subsequent Winter Olympics in Beijing are due to open on 4 February 2022, less than six months later. Shortly before the postponement was confirmed, the IOC and Tokyo 2020 organizers formed a task force named "Here We Go" with the remit to address any issues arising from postponing the Games, such as sponsorship and accommodation. The organizers have confirmed that all athletes who have already qualified for Tokyo 2020 will keep their qualification slots.
· On 29 April 2020, health experts expressed concern that the Tokyo Olympics might have to be cancelled if the pandemic persisted. In an interview with Japanese sports daily Nikkan Sports , Organizing Committee president and former Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori claimed that if the Games cannot go ahead in 2021, they would be "scrapped". On 20 May 2020, Thomas Bach expressed in an interview with NBA Sports that the job of re-organizing the Tokyo Games was "a mammoth task" and, like Mori, admitted that the event would have to be cancelled altogether if it could not take place in the summer of 2021. Complete cancellation would cost Japan 4.52 trillion yen (US$41.5 billion), based on operating expenses and loss of tourism activity.
EFFECT ON DOPING TESTS
Mandatory doping tests were being severely restricted by the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020. European anti-doping organizations raised concerns that blood and urine tests could not be performed, and that mobilizing the staff necessary to do so before the end of the pandemic would be a health risk. Despite the need for extensive testing to take place in advance of the Games, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) stated that public health and safety was their topmost priority. The Chinese anti-doping agency temporarily ceased testing on 3 February 2020, with a planned resumption of "phased" testing towards the end of the month, and the anti-doping organizations in the United States, France, Great Britain and Germany had reduced their testing activities by the end of March.
Olympics 2020 was originally scheduled to take place between 24 July and 9 August 2020, the Games were rescheduled for 23 July to 8 August 2021 as a result of the Covid-19 Pandemic. Concerns about the pandemic began to affect qualifying events in early 2020. Some that were due to take place in February were moved to alternative locations to address concerns about travelling to the worst-affected areas, particularly China. Qualifying events that were due to take place in March or April 2020 began to be postponed until later in the year, part of a wider suspension of international sporting competitions in response to the pandemic. The Games of the XXXII Olympiad will keep the name Tokyo 2020 for marketing and branding purposes despite being held in 2021. The 2020 Games will be the second of three consecutive Olympics to be held in East Asia, the first being the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang County, South Korea, and the next being the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China.
So,let's all hope for best and pray that Olympics shall take place in safer way without harming anyone.Please do share your opinion on this blog.