MOSCOW (TASS) — Russia is capable of hosting the 2020 Summer Olympics in case the Games in Tokyo are relocated to another venue due to the novel coronavirus spread, Umar Kremlev, the secretary general of the Russian Boxing Federation, told TASS on Wednesday.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced earlier this month that preparations for the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo are in line with the schedule and the spread of the novel coronavirus is unlikely to disrupt them. The IOC also stated that countermeasures against the spread of the novel coronavirus make up an extremely important part of the preparations for the Olympics.
However, IOC member Richard Pound said on Tuesday he believed that the Organizing Committee Tokyo-2020 should come up with guarantees of security for the 2020 Summer Olympics before the end of May, otherwise “you’re probably looking at a cancellation” in view of the novel coronavirus threat.
“In case the Olympics will be a subject to relocation, the Games can be organized in Russia,” Kremlev said. “Our country has all necessary infrastructure to prepare for and organize the tournament of this scale within the shortest possible period of time.”
The 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo are scheduled to be held between July 24 and August 9 and the 2020 Summer Paralympic Games will run between August 25 and September 6.
Kremlev, who also serves as a member of the Executive Committee of the Amateur International Boxing Association (AIBA), said earlier in the day that the 2020 Summer Olympics boxing qualifying tournament, scheduled to be held in London on March 13-23, may be cancelled due to the novel coronavirus spread. The boxing official added that Russia was ready to host the boxing qualifiers in case they are called off in London.
On December 31, 2019, the Chinese authorities reported to the World Health Organization about an outbreak of pneumonia of unknown etiology in Wuhan, an economic and industrial megalopolis with a population of 11 million.
The virus was identified on January 7 as 2019-nCoV. As of today, 43 countries and territories, including Russia, have reported confirmed coronavirus cases.
The World Health Organization declared the new coronavirus outbreak a public health emergency of international concern, characterizing it as an epidemic with multiple locations. WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stated on February 11 that the organization gave the novel coronavirus an official name of COVID-19.
According to the latest reports, over 81,280 cases of patients infected with the novel coronavirus have been confirmed in China and other countries. The virus’ death toll has hit the number of 2,770, yet more than 30,350 patients have recovered from the disease.