Mar 23, 2020 1:24 PM

Japanese baseball, soccer seasons could resume in late April

Posted Mar 23, 2020 1:24 PM

TOKYO (AP) — On a day when Japan's prime minister admitted postponing the Tokyo Olympics may be unavoidable, medical experts suggested it could be possible for the top-flight Japanese baseball and soccer seasons to resume by the end of next month. Nippon Professional Baseball Organisation and the J.League received advice Monday from medical experts during the fourth meeting of the joint panel that was formed to assess impacts of the coranavirus pandemic.

A professor in infection control and prevention, said the sports officials should be targeting a start date at the end of April. Both leagues have been aiming to return at the beginning of April, but now it seems like they need to push it back further.  

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Mar 23, 2020 1:24 PM
Countries pulling out of Summer Olympics putting pressure to postpone to 2021

TOKYO (AP) — The Tokyo Olympics are probably going to happen but almost surely in 2021 rather than in four months as planned. That seems clear after the International Olympic Committee said it was considering a postponement. Major Olympic nations like Canada and Australia are adding pressure by making it clear they will not go if the games are staged this year. IOC President Thomas Bach sent a letter to athletes explaining the decision and why it might take so long while also acknowledging the extended timeline might not be popular. He said a final decision was likely to come in four weeks.

Russia supporting IOC plan to wait and see for decision

(AP) Russia has backed the International Olympic Committee’s approach of taking time to consider postponing the Tokyo Games and condemned the body's critics.

The IOC says it will make a decision within four weeks and the Russian Olympic Committee endorsed that plan by calling for “complete support.”

The ROC says “we view as unacceptable any attempts to bring pressure on the organizations in charge responsible of staging the games and to force them to take rash decisions.”

Canada has said it will boycott the Tokyo Olympics unless they are postponed and Australia has called for athletes to prepare for a 2021 event.

Russia was faced with sending a neutral team to the Tokyo Olympics under sanctions from the World Anti-Doping Agency. But those measures can’t be implemented until there’s a ruling from the Court of Arbitration for Sport, where hearings have been delayed by the coronavirus outbreak. It’s unclear whether CAS could still rule before the Tokyo Olympics are scheduled to start July 24.