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Safety from coronavirus first, then Olympics, says wrestler Bajrang Punia

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New Delhi [India], Mar 23 (ANI): Ahead of 2020 Olympics, ace Indian wrestler and Asian Games gold medallist Bajrang Punia stated that safety of athletes should be the topmost priority in the wake of COVID-19 outbreak.

"First of all, we need to fight coronavirus. The situation in the whole world is very critical and having Olympics at this time is a big thing and we don't know how long it (coronavirus) will go," Bajrang told ANI.

"So if the Olympics are held after coronavirus is controlled, it will benefit all athletes. So safety is first and then Olympics," he added.

His remarks came after the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) decision to not send their athletes to the forthcoming 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The star Indian wrestler also urged everyone to take the necessary precautions as the pandemic continues to grow.

"As ours is a contact sport the social distancing advice regarding COVID-19 cannot be adhered to. Athletes would need to take this precaution seriously if they want to avoid contracting the disease," he said.

The comments came even as there is a shadow of doubt over the schedule of Tokyo Olympic Games, which are slated to be held from July 24 to August 9.

Earlier on Monday, the Australia Olympic Committee said that the country's athletes should prepare for a delayed Olympics.

However, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Sunday said that a final decision on possible postponement of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in the wake of coronavirus will be made in four weeks.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, March 23 2020. 13:15 IST
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