Pierre-Olivier Beckers-Vieujant has defended the IOC for waiting to decide on Tokyo 2020 ©Getty Images

International Olympic Committee (IOC) member Pierre-Olivier Beckers-Vieujant has claimed the organisation are right to wait on making a decision regarding Tokyo’s hosting of the Olympic Games amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Pressure has increased on the IOC in the past week to postpone the Games.

Calls have been made to delay the Games due to uncertainty over qualification for Tokyo 2020, as well as athletes being unable to train as some countries have been locked down by Governments to curb the spread of the virus.

The wisdom of the IOC’s commitment to Tokyo 2020 amid a global health crisis has also been questioned.

Beckers-Vieujant, who serves as the chair of the Paris 2024 Coordination Commission, has defended the IOC’s decision not to make a call on the future of the Games at this stage.

Speaking with Belgian daily newspaper Le Soir, Beckers-Vieujant suggested it would be naïve to assume the IOC were not considering other alternatives, suggesting it may be possible to move the dates of the event.

“There would be nothing worse than having athletes from all over the world starting to release the pressure and that in four weeks it will be confirmed that the opening will take place on July 24,” he said.

“On the other hand, to imagine that nobody from the IOC is thinking on alternative scenarios would also be naive.

“I do not see why and in the name of what, if it were really necessary, the Games could not be put back a few months.

“On the operational side, in Japan, this should not be a problem.

“Then there is the sports and media agenda which will have to be taken into account.”

The Olympic Torch has arrived in Tokyo in the build-up to the Games ©Getty Images
The Olympic Torch has arrived in Tokyo in the build-up to the Games ©Getty Images

Beckers-Vieujant added that athletes should remain focused on their preparations for the Games, despite the challenging circumstances.

His views mirror those of IOC President Thomas Bach, who told the New York Times that the organisation was considering alternative scenarios but would not speculate on the future of the Games in Tokyo.

"We don’t know what the situation will be,” he said.

"Of course we are considering different scenarios, but we are contrary to many other sports organisations or professional leagues in that we are four and a half months away from the Games.

"They are even more optimistic than we are, because most of them have postponed their events until April or the end of May.

"We are talking about the end of July."

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games are due to begin on July 24.

Globally, the coronavirus death toll has reportedly now exceeded 10,000.

The number of confirmed cases more than 256,000.