LAUSANNE                -               The International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Tuesday gave further unequivocal backing to this summer’s Tokyo Olympics, urging athletes to prepare “full steam” despite the coronavirus threat. “We are preparing for a successful Olympic Games, Tokyo 2020,” IOC head Thomas Bach said at an executive board meeting to discuss the July 24-Aug. 9 sporting extravaganza. Earlier on Tuesday, Japan’s Olympics minister Seiko Hashimoto had said that details within Tokyo’s contract with the IOC “could be interpreted as allowing a postponement” until the end of the year. That host city contract states that one of several triggers which would allow the IOC to withdraw the Games from Tokyo would be if “the Games are not celebrated during the year 2020”. Hashimoto said, however, that Japan’s government and Tokyo were still committed to the Games beginning on July 24, and the IOC has repeatedly swatted aside any suggestions of a postponement. The Olympic body said again on Tuesday there was no Plan B, and that the Games would take place in their allotted time slot. Any change to dates would instantly wreak havoc on most sports programmes, with competition calendars planned several years ago to accommodate the Tokyo timings.