IOC chief: Travel to Tokyo with full confidence

The President of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach, says athletes can travel to Tokyo with full confidence about the safety of the Games.

Bach spoke during an online conference of the International Athletes' Forum on Thursday attended by athletes from more than 200 countries and territories.

In the question-and-answer session, Bach said that Tokyo is the best prepared Olympic city ever. He urged athletes around the world to "come with full confidence to Tokyo and get ready."

Bach also called on Olympic participants to get vaccinated before arriving in Japan.

He said, "take the opportunity whenever it arises to get vaccinated, because this will increase the safety there for everybody, for yourself, for all your fellow athletes and for the Japanese people."

The question-and-answer session lasted about 90 minutes. No athletes made a call for the Games to be cancelled or postponed for a second time.

A US athlete asked about the IOC's Tokyo 2020 Playbooks, which outline rules for participants aimed at reducing coronavirus infection risks.

The playbooks say that despite all the care taken, risks and impacts may not be fully eliminated, and athletes are asked to agree to attend the Games at their own risk. Olympians are required to sign a waiver, freeing organizers from liability for coronavirus issues.

An IOC official explained that it is standard practice for organizers of big events to ask athletes to submit similar waivers.

Bach added that when he participated in the Olympics as an athlete, he signed a similar consent form.