Published: March 19, 2020 10:40:34 am
Four-time Olympic rowing champion Matthew Pinsent has called for Tokyo 2020 to be called off, describing the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as “tone deaf” for proceeding with the Games amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Pinsent’s comments reflect mounting concern from current and former athletes that the full-steam ahead approach by the IOC is inappropriate in the current global health crisis.
“I’m sorry Mr Bach but this is tone deaf,” Britain’s Pinsent tweeted on Wednesday, referring to IOC President Thomas Bach.
I’m sorry Mr Bach but this is tone deaf. The instinct to keep safe (not to mention obey govt instructions to lock down) is not compatible with athlete training, travel and focus that a looming Olympics demands of athletes, spectators organisers etc Keep them safe. Call it off. https://t.co/nKnEEiVku1
— Matthew Pinsent (@matthewcpinsent) March 18, 2020
“The instinct to keep safe (not to mention obey government instructions to lock down) is not compatible with athlete training, travel and focus that a looming Olympics demands of athletes, spectators organizers etc. Keep them safe. Call it off.”
Pinsent, 49, won gold at four consecutive Olympics from 1992 until 2004.
ALSO READ | Tokyo 2020 Olympic chief met with JOC executive who later tested positive for coronavirus: Officials
The Olympics are scheduled to take place from July 24-Aug. 9.
The coronavirus outbreak has shredded the sporting calendar and has already started affecting some Olympic qualifying events.
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