The International Olympic Committee (IOC) remains "fully committed" to staging the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2021, IOC president Thomas Bach said on Wednesday.
It is considering "multiple scenarios" to ensure the safety of all participants, Bach said.
The Tokyo Olympic Games, which was initially scheduled to start on July 24 this year, has been postponed by one year due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.
"We are working all together with our Japanese partners and friends to celebrate the Games next year from July 23 until August 8, 2021," Bach told reporters in a conference call after the IOC Executive Board meeting on Wednesday.
"First of all, the entire IOC is following the principle we have established before the postponement of the Tokyo Olympic Games that the first priority is about safety of all participants," Bach said, "For this reason, we are working now on multiple scenarios of the organization of the Games with regard to the health situation of which we do not know."
"The World Health Organization (WHO) is playing a very important role. So we continue to be guided by the advice of WHO and based on this advice we are preparing multiple scenarios," the IOC chief added.
However, Bach emphasized that although "multiple scenarios" are being taken into account, an Olympic Games without spectators is not what the IOC wants.
"The Olympic Games behind closed doors is clearly something we don't want," Bach said. "So we are working for a solution for the Olympic Games which on the one hand is safeguarding the health of all participants, and on the other hand is also reflecting the Olympic spirit."
The IOC Executive Board on Wednesday also approved the decision to push back the 2022 Summer Youth Olympic Games, scheduled to take place in Dakar, Senegal from October 22 to November 9, 2022, by four years to 2026. The proposal will be submitted to the 136th IOC session for ratification on Friday.
Bach said that the postponement of Dakar 2022 will allow the IOC, the National Olympic Committees (NOCs) and the International Federations (IFs) to better plan their activities, and allow Senegal to carry on with preparations for the Youth Olympic Games.
The first death anniversary of renowned sports journalist and Sports Editor of Dainik Sangbad Ajay Barua falls on Sunday (July 12).
Eminent sports journalist Ajay Barua, a former vice president of Bangladesh Sports Journalists Association (BSJA), breathed his last at a London hospital on July 12 last year at the age of 70.
He left behind his wife, two daughters, a son and a large number of well-wishers to mourn his death.
Ajay, a freedom fighter, went to England to cover the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, was initially admitted to King George Hospital in London after falling sick. When his condition worsened, then he was put on life support at the Saint Berts Hospital in the UK where he was expired after 10 days.
Ajay Barua joined the Dainik Sangbad in 1974 as a sports journalist and performed his duties as its sports editor till he passed away.
He was a Dhaka University Blue and a decorated sportsman before beginning his career in sports journalism. He also played football for Dhaka Abahani.
He was one of the founding members of Bangladesh Sports Journalists’ Association and also served as the sports secretary of Jagannath Hall of Dhaka University.
Barua, who loved to play football and cricket in his formative years, was involved with sports journalism for around five decades.
Also read: Sports journalist Ajay Barua dies in London
The government has allotted Tk 3 crore as humanitarian aid for 150 distressed athletes in the country on Tuesday.
State Minister for the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Zahid Ahsan Russell handed over the cheques of humanitarian aid for the athletes on behalf of National Sports Council and Bangabandhu Krirashebi Kalyan Foundation.
While distributing the financial aid for athletes at National Sports Council building in the capital, State Minister said they have already provided aid to over 600 athletes.
The allotted money will be handed over to the root level athletes soon as per the directive of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, he said adding that a modelling a policy in this regard is underway.
State Minister also informed that they have been working to provide Tk 24,000 to each of 1,150 athletes in one year from Bangabandhu Krirashebi Kalyan Foundation.
Rafael Nadal says it will be "very difficult" for tennis to return to action any time soon and is concerned about the risk of injuries when the sport resumes.
Nadal spoke in a joint interview with NBA player Pau Gasol that was published by Spanish newspapers on Monday.
"I don't think training would be a problem, but competing... I see it very difficult," Nadal said. "It's a moment to be responsible and coherent, so I don't see how we can travel every week to a different country.
"I would be OK playing without fans, even though that's not what we want, but unfortunately, from what I'm seeing, even though things are improving, for our sport I don't see it prudent to be competing again any time soon."
Nadal pointed out that even though there is a smaller risk of contagion in tennis compared to team sports, there are many people involved in the organization of tennis tournaments, from hotels to other sectors of society.
"As far as competing, maybe our sport is the most complicated one, having to move a lot of people week after week," he said.
Nadal, who has had to deal with a series of injuries throughout his career, is also worried that the risk of new injuries will increase when players return to action.
"When I hit a ball again, my arm is going to hurt in several places ... my wrist, my elbow," the 19-time Grand Slam champion said. "When you are out of action, the risk of an injury is a lot greater than when you are exercising, even if just a bit.
"If I could have a tennis-related training for half an hour every day, If I could at least exercise the specific muscles that are needed in tennis, I think that would help get the rust off my body when we get back to action."
Gasol also spoke about his concerns in the interview with newspapers that was conducted through a Zoom session and also included other Spanish athletes such as golfer Sergio Garcia, motorcycle rider Marc Márquez, F1 driver Carlos Sainz, cyclist Alejandro Valverde and soccer coach Julen Lopetegui.
The interview was promoted to help Nadal's and Gasol's campaign to encourage donations to the Red Cross and help during the health crisis prompted by the coronavirus pandemic. The interview was published by the Spanish sports newspapers Marca, As, Mundo Deportivo and Sport.
Gasol, who has been out of action for more than a year because of a foot injury, also expects a tough time on his body when the NBA returns to action.
"The idea was for me to prepare myself for the Tokyo Games, but that has changed and there is a lot of uncertainty now," he said. "When I get back to a basketball court, it's not only my foot that is going to hurt, it's also my hip, back, shoulder, knee ... everything."
Gasol said the NBA wants a training period of at least three to four weeks for players before the league can restart.
Nadal also spoke about how he has been paying special attention to his tennis academy in Mallorca, where there are about 150 people confined, including 85 kids.
Spain has been in a lockdown since March 14 and the confinement is expected to continue at least until May 9.
Celebrated shooter Asif Hossian Khan, who won the first and only shooting gold medal for Bangladesh in the Commonwealth Games, expressed his interest to auction his medal to raise funds for people affected by the coronavirus outbreak.
Asif brought laurel for the country by winning an individual gold medal in the 10-metre air rifle in the 17th Commonwealth Games 2002 held in Manchester, England.
"I want to auction my gold medal. I do not have much else with which I can contribute. If I am able raise some funds by auctioning it then I will be able to help the needy people during this crisis period. I think this is a good thing to do and I will feel very good," Asif said .
Asif said he is not bothered about giving away the gold medal, his best achievement till date, as he always did everything for the country.
"I always did everything for my country. I am working as a coach at BKSP declining corporate job offers. My only aim is to bring out some good shooters for the country. I will be happy If I can help a few people," he said.
Earlier, Shakib Al Hasan auctioned his favourite ICC World Cup playing bat for Tk 20 lakh. Two former captains of national cricket team Mushfiur Rahim and Mohammad Ashraful also expressed their willingness to auction their bats for the said noble cause .
Also read: Shakib’s bat sold for Tk 20 lakh
The famous Jersey of two former captains of Bangladesh national football teams - late defender Monem Munna and striker Alfaz Ahmed- are also awaiting for auction for a similar purpose.