Bach tries to boost Olympic morale in Japan, speaks to media

<p>
              FILE - In this Jan. 10, 2020, file photo, Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), speaks during the 135th Session of the IOC on the sidelines of the the third Winter Youth Olympic Games Lausanne 2020, at the SwissTech Convention Centre, in Lausanne, Switzerland. Hoping to boost morale in Japan by assuring the Tokyo Olympics will be held as scheduled, IOC President Thomas Bach has held a conference call limited to three of Japan's main's media outlets: the newspapers Asahi and Yomiuri, and the national Kyodo news agency. (Laurent Gillieron/Keystone via AP, File)
            </p>

TOKYO (AP) — Hoping to boost morale in Japan by assuring people that the Tokyo Olympics will be held as scheduled, IOC President Thomas Bach held a conference call limited to three of Japan’s main media outlets — newspapers Asahi and Yomiuri, and the Kyodo news agency.

Bach was responding to comments made earlier in the week by IOC member Dick Pound in an interview with The Associated Press. Pound said a decision on the Tokyo Olympics — facing a fast-spreading virus from China — would need to be made by the end of May.

Australian member John Coates, who heads the IOC inspection team for Tokyo, suggested a similar time frame. Both Pound and Coates are former IOC vice presidents.

The Olympics open on July 24, followed by the Paralympics on Aug. 25.

The International Olympic Committee provided the AP with a transcript of Thursday’s call. The questions have been shortened for length and clarity. The answers are in full.