Women's Sport: IOC calls on athletes for support after criticism from the likes of Katarina Johnson-Thompson

The IOC have defended their decision to ask athletes to continue preparing for the Tokyo Olympic Games “as best they can”.

In a follow-up statement, they said: “This is an exceptional situation which requires exceptional solutions. The IOC is committed to finding a solution with the least negative impact for the athletes while protecting the integrity of the competition and the athletes’ health.

“No solution will be ideal in this situation, and this is why we are counting on the responsibility and solidarity of the athletes.”

In a statement yesterday they affirmed their commitment to holding the games as planned, despite the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. They wrote: “The IOC remains fully committed to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, and with more than four months to go before the Games there is no need for any drastic decisions at this stage; and any speculation at this moment would be counter-productive.”

They added that athletes should “continue to prepare for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 as best they can”.

This sparked frustrations from many athletes, including Team GB athletes Katarina Johnson-Thompson and Jessica Judd who are struggling to train following the new government-imposed restrictions on day-to-day life.

Johnson-Thompson said: “I feel under pressure to train and keep the same routine which is impossible.”

In a column in the Telegraph, Dina Asher-Smith took a different approach, calling for governing bodies to tailor qualification processes and for athletes to take care of their mental health.

She wrote: “I was relieved to hear Japan’s Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, commit to hosting the Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer. But I also completely understand the unpredictable and unique situation we are in. Public health will always be the priority, and I am on board with whatever decision is made.”

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