Britain’s most successful female Paralympian Dame Sarah Storey has called on the authorities to make a decision on whether to go ahead with the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Toyko.
Japan recently declared a one-month state of emergency for the city and three nearby prefectures, following a dramatic rise in coronavirus cases.
Last week, Tokyo saw record daily cases for two consecutive days leaving continued doubt over whether the rescheduled Games can take place in July.
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Storey, whose medal collection is split across cycling and swimming, is hoping to go to an eighth Games and seek the three gold medals she needs to overhaul swimmer Mike Kenny’s British record of 16.
But she says they should only take place if it is safe and fair to do so.
“How many nations need to be present for it to be considered viable because that’s really important,” Storey told Sky Sports News.
“It’s a global event for a very good reason. It’s celebrating sport across every single nation, every single continent.
“Someone needs to decide (what a global event is).
“If the developing nations aren’t able to access the vaccine then that seems incredibly unfair.
“So I think those questions have to be answered not least for the sanity of athletes who are hoping that it does go ahead but also for budgets and things like that.
“We’re fortunate in the UK that we’ve had budgets and everything looks to be positive from that perspective.”
Politicians in Japan have repeatedly stressed the Games must go ahead, despite an increasingly doubtful public.
It is likely a final decision on whether they can take place will have to be made by April.
Pound: Vaccinate athletes to ensure Olympics goes ahead
Canadian Dick Pound, the longest-serving member of the IOC, is confident the Olympics can still go ahead with global participation as long as athletes can be vaccinated beforehand.
He told Sky News: “In Canada where we might have 300 or 400 athletes – to take 300 or 400 vaccines out of several million in order to have Canada represented at an international event of this stature, character and level – I don’t think there would be any kind of a public outcry about that.
“It’s a decision for each country to make and there will be people saying they are jumping the queue but I think that is the most realistic way of it going ahead.”
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