Tokyo Olympics 2020: President Joe Biden says 'remains to be seen' if USA sends team to Games
Asked in a Super Bowl half-time radio interview if he thought the Tokyo 2020 Olympics would go ahead, US President Joe Biden said any decision 'has to be based on science'. 'I hope we can play, I hope it's possible, but it remains to be seen,' he said.
Tampa: US President Joe Biden said late on Sunday it remains to be seen if the US will send a team to the pandemic-postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympics, in a radio interview in which he also weighed in on diversity in sport.
Japan's government, organisers and Olympic officials all insist the Games will go ahead this summer, and that extensive virus countermeasures will ensure the event is safe.
Asked in a Super Bowl half-time radio interview with network Westwood One if he thought the Games would go ahead, Biden said any decision "has to be based on science".
"I hope we can play, I hope it's possible, but it remains to be seen," he said, stressing that Japanese prime minister Yoshihide Suga was "working very hard to be in a position to be able to safely open the games."
Biden also addressed the topic of diversity, at a time when National Football League teams have faced accusations of systemic racism for their failure to promote minority coaches to senior roles.
When asked by the show's host if he had any advice for the NFL going forward, the president said teams had to "go out and look, there's numerous incredible qualified African-American coaches out there."
"I don't understand why they cannot find — because they exist — so many African-American coaches that are qualified that should be in the pros in my view," he added.
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A Court of Arbitration for Sport ruling in December banned Russia’s team name, flag and national anthem from the Tokyo Olympics this year and the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing.
The IOC's Boxing Task Force, which is in charge of conducting the qualifiers as well as the main event for the sport in Tokyo, decided to cancel the world qualifiers and push the European qualifiers to June from April in view of the COVID-19 restrictions globally.
Tokyo Olympics 2020: Decision over foreign spectators could be made by May, says IOC president Thomas Bach
Organisers are yet to announce whether supporters will be able to travel to Japan for the tournament, but Bach said he expects a decision by May.