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Track and Field
Saturday, August 22, 2020
Coe Urges Athletics to

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe has said the sport will need to "think outside the box" in the case of next year's Olympic Games in Tokyo being cancelled.

Coe discussed Tokyo 2020 on BBC Radio 4 and said he was hopeful the event could still take place during the ongoing global health crisis.

The Games were postponed to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic and have been rescheduled for July 23 to August 8.

"I really hope we are in a position to deliver the Tokyo Games," Coe said.

"We also may have to think slightly out of the box about how we might have to create other types of events if - I hope not - but if we have a very badly disrupted season generally."

Coronavirus countermeasures, such as a possible reduction in the number of spectators at events, are viewed as key to the Games taking place next year following their postponement.

Coe, who chaired the Organising Committee for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympics, added the idea of holding Tokyo 2020 without spectators did not fill him with "unalloyed joy".

The 63-year-old also discussed the status of the Russian Athletics Federation, which is currently suspended by World Athletics.

"I'm hoping that we really can resume the reinstatement path, but it will only be achieved when I'm absolutely certain that we're not putting in jeopardy the careers of clean athletes for those that have chosen to cheat," Coe said.

RusAF recently created a Reinstatement Commission to help to restore the body's membership of World Athletics, having paid the governing body a $6.31 million fine to avoid expulsion.

It initially missed a July 1st deadline for fine, but Russian Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin committed to ensuring it would pay.

Missing the first deadline led to the process by which select Russian track and field athletes were able to compete under neutral status being suspended.

The fine from World Athletics came after an investigation into an anti-doping rule violation by world indoor high jump champion Danil Lysenko.

Seven RusAF officials - including then-President Dmitry Shlyakhtin - were charged by the Athletics Integrity Unit with obstructing an anti-doping investigation by forging documents to explain Lysenko's missed tests.
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