Coronavirus Latest: IOC Pledges Support to Beijing 2022

Also: Davis Cup tennis, beach volleyball events hit by outbreak of the disease.

(ATR) The IOC offers its understanding and support to Beijing 2022 organizers amid the coronavirus epidemic.

A video conference on Monday featured high-level officials from both sides, according to Xinhua.

IOC vice president and chair of the Beijing 2022 Coordination Commission Juan Antonio Samaranch Jr. and IOC Olympics Games executive director Christophe Dubi were joined by Beijing vice mayor and BOCOG executive vice president Zhang Jiandong, and BOCOG vice president and secretary general Han Zirong.

While the video conference covered issues including global tickets sales, hospitality programs, and promotion of sustainable and legacy projects, the ongoing battle to contain the coronavirus certainly was top of mind.

"After the coronavirus outbreak, president Thomas Bach sent letters to the Chinese Olympic Committee, expressing his confidence that the Games' preparations will not be affected," said Zhang, as quoted by Xinhua.

"Although we did not meet in person in recent days, BOCOG has been keeping in close communications with Mr. Samaranch Jr., Mr. Dubi and other IOC officials, reporting important updates."

"We are very, very impressed by how China has been dealing with the situation," Samaranch Jr. said.

He pledged IOC support, telling BOCOG "Don't hesitate to let us know in any point of time, if we can give any assistance helping you go with the crisis."

China's National Health Commission reported on Tuesday that 1,868 people have died in China from the disease. There are more than 72,000 confirmed cases within the country.

The first test event for Beijing 2022 was one of the early sporting competitions affected by the outbreak. The men’s FIS World Cup races scheduled for Feb. 15-16 at Yanqing were cancelled in late January.

More Sporting Events Affected

China has been forced to withdraw from its Davis Cup World Group I playoff against Romania on March 6-7.

The International Tennis Federation said Tuesday that "increased restrictions in response to the current coronavirus outbreak" prevent the Chinese team from traveling to Romania for the tie.

Romania will advance to play in World Group I in September.

A beach volleyball 4-star event is the latest sporting competition within China to be postponed due to coronavirus.

FIVB, the international volleyball federation, said on Monday the event scheduled for Yangzhou, China from April 22-26 would now take place after the Olympic Games in Tokyo are completed in August.

The FIVB said the decision was reached following consultation with the Chinese Volleyball Association and "the relevant authorities".

OTT Summit Asia Moved to Autumn

SportsPro announced on Tuesday that the OTT Summit Asia 2020 has been rescheduled due to the coronavirus outbreak.

"The decisionhas been taken to avoid further impact to schedules and minimize any health risks for attendees that may exist at the time of the event," said a statement.

The conference, due to take place on March 25-26, will stay in Singapore but will now be held on October 21-22. SportsPro says any passes purchased for the event will remain valid for the rescheduled dates.

SportsPro's two-day OTT Summit USA begins on Thursday in Atlanta.

Homepage photo: Beijing 2022

Written by Gerard Farek

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