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Ex-German Athletics chief slams IOC as irresponsible

IOC President Thomas Bach is unsuitable for crisis management, according to former German Athlet...
Richie McCormack
Richie McCormack

20.37 18 Mar 2020


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Ex-German Athletics chief slam...

Ex-German Athletics chief slams IOC as irresponsible

Richie McCormack
Richie McCormack

20.37 18 Mar 2020


Share this article


IOC President Thomas Bach is unsuitable for crisis management, according to former German Athletics Association President, Clemens Prokop. 

Prokop made the claim on the same day Bach held a "constructive" conference call with 220 athletes representatives regarding this summer's Olympic Games and the impact of the global coronavirus pandemic.

"Everybody realised that we have still more than four months to go and we will address this action, and we will keep acting in a responsible way in the interest of the athletes", Bach told reporters afterwards.

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The International Olympic Committee remain steadfast in staging Tokyo 2020 on time starting July 24.

But Prokop - the head of German athletics for 16-years - feels Bach et al aren't doing enough, "I consider Thomas Bach unsuitable at crisis management because he does not make the necessary decisions," he told Stuttgarter Zeitung

"At any rate, the IOC is currently doing the opposite of responsible crisis management."

It's not the first time Prokop has butted heads with his compatriot. In 2016, he criticised Bach's handling of the Russian doping scandal, claiming that the IOC President's stance did "not bring any signal to the start in the fight for the recovery of the credibility of the sport".

Prokop can't see why this summer's Games would be going ahead as normal, "I do not consider the current IOC practice to be understandable from the point of view of reason.

"It is not only naive, it is just stupid to act as if the coronavirus crisis could have resolved worldwide in the next four months."

But former Olympic swimmer and current Chair of the IOC Athletes' Commission Kirsty Coventry said today's 2-hour long call was beneficial for "sharing the concerns of athletes around the world".

"The main concerns athletes are facing and want more information around", Coventry said, "is the qualification process and we promise to get that to you as clear as possible. We're working with international federations daily."

She says athletes want the Games to happen as planned in July, but conceded they're facing an ever-changing landscape.


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Athletics Clemens Prokop Coronavirus Covid-19 IOC International Olympic Committee Kirsty Coventry Olympic Games Olympics Swimming Thomas Bach Tokyo 2020

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