Martin Fourcade has agreed with the IOC's stance on the future of Tokyo 2020 ©Getty Images

French sporting legends, Martin Fourcade and Renaud Lavillenie, have backed the stance of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on the future of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics despite the threat from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fourcade, who this month retired from biathlon at the age of 31, said it was too early to make a decision on whether the Games should be cancelled or postponed, echoing the sentiments of the IOC.

His words followed a statement from the IOC that said that there was no need for "any drastic decisions at this stage".

Five-time Winter Olympic champion Fourcade said to L'Equipe: "Any discussion on this subject in my view is counterproductive and it adds to the ambient disaster.

"It is a huge event that takes a long time to organise, and postpone and cancel, but we are not there yet.

"Let us ask ourselves the question at the end of April, it may be much more relevant."

Fourcade also asked for the spread of "false news" to be curbed to prevent unnecessary hysteria.

"Let's be consistent and stop passing messages on social networks like, 'I have a cousin who knows the uncle of the prefect's brother who knows that we are going to be in total confinement,'" he said.

"It scares everyone, it is useless and it is not true."

Former pole vault world record holder Lavillenie supported Fourcade's words, saying in a tweet: "It's a delicate moment for everyone, but let's not give in to harmful speculations.

"Sport is capable of being reactive in all circumstances, so let's take the time to wait to make the right decisions together."

Other athletes have criticised the IOC for insisting that the Games are still currently going ahead on July 24, as lockdowns and restrictions all over the world have made training difficult or impossible.

French Olympic Committee President Denis Masseglia has said in an interview with Reuters that the coronavirus pandemic must be past its peak by the end of May if the Games are to go ahead.

"If we are beyond the peak and the situation is getting better, questions will arise about who qualifies, but we will find the least worst solution," said Masseglia.

To date, there have been more than 225,000 confirmed cases of the infection worldwide with 9,276 people dying as a result.