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British Olympics will not endanger athlete wellbeing as Tokyo planning continues

The new date means the Olympics will take place almost exactly a year later than planned. Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images

The British Olympic Association (BOA) has warned they will not endanger the health of their athletes should Tokyo 2020 proceed.

While the BOA said they intend to work with the International Olympics Committee (IOC) to find a suitable resolution, the organisation also voiced concerns about the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on qualification processes.

"We can be categorically clear that we will not endanger the health and wellbeing of the athletes or wider delegation at any point," a statement from the BOA said.

The IOC has remained steadfast that the Olympics and Paralympics will go ahead as planned in July and August.

However, the Games have already been hit several major stumbling blocks. Many qualification events -- such as the European boxing qualifier in London and FINA's qualifying events -- have been cancelled or postponed and organisers have had to scale down the traditional torch relay.

Other major summer tournaments, such as Euro 2020 and the Copa America, have been postponed.

"Whilst we acknowledge the IOC are doing their best to ensure that the qualification process remains fair for all athletes across all sports, we are in regular dialogue with them on this matter, as it is clear there are significant challenges developing in training and qualification programmes that will have a major impact between now and the Games," the BOA added.

"It is imperative to preserve competitive integrity for athletes, but it is clearly only wise for athletes to continue to prepare for the Games where it is safe and appropriate to do so, within relevant Government and public health guidelines.

Several countries have advised against athletes competing, travelling or training during the pandemic. South Africa has shut down all athletics events while Kenya barred its athletes from travelling outside the country.