If the International Olympic Committee (IOC) decides to postpone the 2020 Olympic Games due to coronavirus, the new dates are most likely to be the summer of 2021, State Duma First Deputy Speaker and Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) Honorary President Alexander Zhukov told Interfax.
"In my view, it's unrealistic to postpone the Olympics to the end of the year. It's possible to postpone them by a year, although it's very difficult; that involves contracts and so on. It will be very difficult to do so," Zhukov said on Monday.
Preparing for the Olympics is a very extensive process, which complicates any possible postponement, he said. "It's extremely difficult to change the dates, because all the calendars have already been drawn up everywhere, because it's linked to qualifying rounds. Additionally, the organizers have their own plans. After all, it's supposed to be held in a big city," Zhukov said.
The IOC's decision to take a time out for four weeks in order to follow how the situation develops is wise, he said.
At the same time, Zhukov said he believes that "if the situation surrounding the spread of coronavirus does not change in four weeks, they're most likely to make the decision to postpone."
On Sunday, IOC head Thomas Bach said that a final decision on the Tokyo Olympics will be made in four weeks. A cancellation of the Games is not on the agenda, and in case of postponement, it is impossible to name new dates at the current time, Bach said.
However, on Monday, Tokyo Olympics organizing committee head Yoshiro Mori said that it is possible to start considering the postponement of the Games in light of the situation surrounding coronavirus.
At the same time, Mori rejected the possibility of completely cancelling the Olympic Games.