IOC says Olympics postponement an option

The International Olympic Committee said that postponing the 2020 Olympics is one of its options as the world grapples with the coronavirus pandemic, but that cancellation of the Tokyo showpiece was 'not on the agenda'.

The IOC has faced strong pressure to push back the Games, scheduled from July 24 to August 9, from sporting federations and athletes worried about the health risk as the COVID-19 global death tally went past 13,000 on Sunday.

IOC president Thomas Bach said a decision on when the Games take place would be made "within the next four weeks".

"Human lives take precedence over everything, including the staging of the Games," Bach wrote in an open letter to athletes.

"We have, as indicated before, been thinking in different scenarios and are adapting them almost day by day.

"A final decision about the date of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 now would still be premature," he said.