The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) said its decision not to send a team to Tokyo in 2020 if the Games were not postponed was unilateral and was carried out without the knowledge of Canada or the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
The AOC announced last Monday that it could not send a team for 2020 because of the consequences of the spread of coronavirus, an action that came shortly after the announcement by the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Committees that they would not send.
The double withdrawal has speculated that the two national Olympic Committees may have acted in consultation with the IOC to provide a basis for postponing the Games.
Canada on Friday denied any such contact and the AOC did the same today.
“Any claim that the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) decision was made in consultation with either the International Olympic Committee or the Olympic Committee of Canada (COC) is incorrect,” the AOC told Reuters.
The AOC clarified that its decision was followed by a series of events, including the ILO's announcement of a “scenario planning” for Tokyo, with the postponement being among the options.
The ILO announcement came a day after the Australian authorities announced a series of measures aimed at curbing the spread of coronavirus, including travel restrictions and quarantine use.
“This meant that our athletes could not continue their training programs,” the AOC said. “The outcome of these measures, as described, fueled the Executive Committee's conclusion that the Australian Olympic Team could not depart for the Games at any time within the next six months, at least. The AOC Board of Directors considered it in the interest of our athletes' health and safety to return to their homes and families as soon as possible. In neither case was the ILO or the COC aware or involved in this process. “
The IOC postponed the Olympics for a year last Tuesday. The IOC is now partnering with the Olympic committees and sports federations to make the Tokyo Games in July-August 2021, though officials have said all options are on the table.