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Tokyo delay to cost IOC ‘several hundred million dollars’

IOC President Thomas Bach addresses during the Olympic flame lighting ceremony in ancient Olympia (Photo by The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images)

International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach has said the organisation would face extra costs of “several hundred million dollars” due to the postponement of Tokyo 2020.

Bach made the comment in an interview with German newspaper Die Welt at the weekend.

Host country Japan will shoulder the rest of the extra costs, which local estimates have put at between $2bn (€1.83bn) and $6bn.

Bach said: “We agreed with the prime minister that Japan will continue to cover the costs it would have done under the terms of the existing agreement for 2020, and the IOC will continue to be responsible for its share of the costs. For us, the IOC, it is already clear that we shall be faced with several hundred million dollars of additional costs.”

The Games’ organisers in Japan had put the cost of the event, before Covid-19, at $12.6bn. A government audit report in 2019 revealed that the actual costs were twice this figure. When Tokyo initially won the bid seven years ago, it estimated costs of $7.3bn. Japan Today reported that all but $5.6bn will come from the Japanese taxpayer.

Also in the Die Welt interview, Bach said Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe had told him the country “could not manage a postponement beyond next summer”. At the weekend, the Tokyo Games organising committee chief executive Toshiro Muto said there remained some doubts whether the event could go ahead next summer.

Bach also denied that the delay would give athletes more opportunities for doping, and said he had not yet decided if he would run for re-election next year. Japan Today said he is widely expected to seek another term in the 2021 vote.