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James MacLeod of the International Olympic Committee

National Olympic Committees Presidents Secretaries General Chefs de Mission for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 

Lausanne, 12 March 2020 

COVID 19 – Impact on Olympic Qualification events for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 

Dear NOC Presidents, Secretaries General and Chefs de Mission, 

We recognise that there have been several changes to the Olympic qualifying events around the world due to the COVID-19 situation and the subsequent travel disruption, which may have impacted on your athletes’ qualification plans. Following a report to the IOC Executive Board last week, I would like to update you on the IOC’s position in this regard and what the IOC has been doing to address these issues. 

From the outset of the COVID-19 outbreak, the IOC has been working closely with the International Federations to ensure that the qualification of athletes for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 happens on the field of play wherever possible. 

In particular, we are working to ensure fair access for all athletes and teams to remaining qualifying events by addressing any challenges with IFs and NOCs as soon as they are identified on a case-by-case manner. In this respect we are heartened by the support received from NOCs hosting events in finding solutions with their national governments and public health authorities to enable the maximum participation of athletes in these events. Please contact Mr Toshio Tsurunaga ( should you have any question or concerns relating to the participation of your athletes in specific qualification events. 

The IOC has recently approved numerous requests from the IFs for any necessary changes to dates and locations of events, with the goal of ensuring the events take place wherever possible. Due to the volume of changes, we highly recommend that you encourage your National Federations to remain in close contact with their relevant IFs to receive regular updates on any possible changes going forward. 

Lastly and only where required, the IOC Executive Board approved the concept of allowing for changes to the existing Tokyo 2020 qualification systems themselves. These would include the extension of the qualification period or the re-assignment of quota allocations to upcoming events. Should such changes take place, these will be immediately communicated to the NOCs. 

The IOC is therefore confident that with the support of the IFs and NOCs, we are able to adapt as necessary to the constantly evolving impact of COVID-19 and find credible solutions to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 qualification process in each sport. 

Please be reminded that regularly updated information on COVID-19, the IOC’s statements on the matter and any approved changes to the qualification systems for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 will be available to you on the NOCnet, the IOC extranet for NOCs. 

Yours sincerely, 

James Macleod Director of Olympic Solidarity and NOC Relations