On Tuesday, Thomas Bach and Shinzo Abe made a completely surprising discovery: the corona virus poses a threat to humanity. “Concern for world health was the pressure,” said the President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as the reason for this why he ended up postponing the Tokyo Summer Games to 2021. At the same time, Japan’s prime minister announced at the prevented organizer location: “Bach has accepted my proposal to postpone the games by one year.”
Just two days earlier, the IOC had actually allowed another four weeks for a decision. So what happened? At a conference call with international media on Wednesday, Bach tried to sell the sudden rethinking of his rings company as a prudent response to “new, alarming reports” from the World Health Agency. They had been in close contact with this for months, and on Monday morning the IOC had been notified of “dramatic, dynamic developments”. He explicitly referred to the increasing number of cases in Africa.
Dramatic, dynamic developments: there really are. The day after the games were postponed to 2021, the Corona case count curve in Tokyo rose rapidly. And the following day, the IOC was officially accused of simply being involved in the spread of the virus itself through its stubborn delay and the associated pointing to the sport and the athletes, but simply to continue the preparatory course towards Tokyo.
The sport stopped, but the boxing continued
The Turkish boxing association has made this allegation against the IOC – after two boxers and their coaches apparently became infected with the corona virus at the Olympic qualifying tournament in London. Aligning this was “irresponsible, as a result of which three of our team have unfortunately been tested successfully,” said head of the association Eyüp Gözgec to the British Guardian.
The previous weekend – the pandemic had long since largely paralyzed global sport – the Olympic boxing matches of European boxers in London had started strictly according to plan: with around 350 athletes from more than 40 nations. Due to health concerns, the audience was initially excluded, after three days of competition the tournament was completely canceled. The IOC’s Boxing Taskforce (BTF) was responsible for this staging: it took over the management tasks after the Aiba global association was suspended in mid-2019 due to corruption.