British powerlifter Ali Jawad has asked the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) for more transparency over what health measures will be in place for athletes at Tokyo 2020 in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The IPC is continuing with plans for the Paralympic Games to open on August 25 but says its stance will be dictated by World Health Organization (WHO) advice.
It also admitted that some Paralympic athletes could be "more vulnerable" to the virus and remains uncertain about the full impact due to the unprecedented nature of the situation.
Jawad, a silver medallist from Rio 2016, is one of many athletes who could fall into the "vulnerable" category when it comes to COVID-19 as he continues his battle with Crohn's disease.
Speaking to PA, Jawad said: "They [IPC] need to be very transparent on the information they are giving to athletes right now, because athletes are panicking and not training.
"If the IPC are determined that Games will go ahead, they need to tell the athletes how they are going to tackle the spread of the virus, and what they're going to do in the Village and competition areas to make sure their safety and welfare is being considered."
Jawad has delayed a stem cell transplant to compete at Tokyo and faces months of chemotherapy and the risk of a stomach ailment without it.
In order to keep Para athletes, IPC members and other stakeholders informed of the latest situation with the coronavirus pandemic, the IPC will now publish a weekly update each Thursday, until further notice.#Paralympicshttps://t.co/Ieni2ubLfn— Paralympic Games (@Paralympics) March 12, 2020
The IPC wrote in a recent statement: "The Paralympic athlete population is not a homogeneous group.
"Para athletes are all individuals with very different underlying conditions and health needs, so the notion of a one-size-fits-all approach to COVID-19 is not appropriate or representative of an individual athlete's risk.
"There are no current studies on the potential impacts of coronavirus on Para athletes.
"The honest answer is that we don't know because this is a new strain of coronavirus and there are very little data available.
"The IPC will continue to seek advice from the WHO, but ultimately athletes are the best judge of their own body and their medical needs."
There have been more than 277,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 to date, with in excess of 11,500 deaths related to the virus.