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Norway says should not send athletes to Olympics unless pandemic under control

OSLO (Reuters) - Norway should not send athletes to this year’s Tokyo Olympics until the coronavirus pandemic is under control, Norwegian Olympics Committee President Berit Kjoell said on Monday.

“My clear advice to the board (of the Norwegian Olympics committee) is that you should ask not to send any athletes to the Paralympics or Olympics in Tokyo 2020 in light of the serious situation,” Kjoell told reporters.

The Norwegian Olympic and Paralympic Committee and Confederation of Sports (NIF) has sent a letter to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) expressing its concern, saying the pandemic must be under control before the Games can go ahead, the organization said in a statement on Sunday.

Putting back the July 24-Aug. 9 Games is looking inevitable after major sporting nations Australia and Canada withdrew from the Olympics as organizers faced global pressure to postpone them due to the coronavirus crisis.

“I am absolute confident that the IOC, Japanese governments, Tokyo’s government and the organizing committee will take their responsibility to come back with a new date as soon as possible,” Kjoell said on Monday.

Reporting by Victoria Klesty; editing by Gwladys Fouche and Ed Osmond

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