The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) says athletes who have already qualified for the Tokyo Games are assured of their spots when the global sporting showpiece takes place in 2021.
The 2020 Olympics were pushed back by a year on Tuesday due to the coronavirus pandemic which has disrupted qualifying for thousands of Tokyo hopefuls in a slew of sports.
Almost 60 percent of the 11 000-odd athletes set for Tokyo had already qualified but the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has yet to clarify publicly whether their 2021 berths are assured.
BREAKING: The Australian Olympic Committee is telling Aussie Olympians to "prepare for a Tokyo Olympic Games in the northern summer of 2021"— Josh Butler (@JoshButler) March 23, 2020
"our athletes now need to prioritise their own health and of those around them, and to be able to return to the families" pic.twitter.com/qIGpLvTQFL
AOC chief executive Matt Carroll says qualified athletes are guaranteed their 2021 spots, however.
He explains: “That is our understanding at this time.
“Athletes may change their minds between now and 2021. But let’s cover that off.
“Today the most important thing is that athletes have certainty for those who have been selected and certainty for those who are yet to qualify.”