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Sports

IOC boss Bach rejects changes to Tokyo 2020 venues

The IOC has pledged to work with Japanese officials to help rein in costs associated with the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. However, it has rejected the idea of moving some venues in an effort to reduce construction expenses.

During a meeting with Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koikeon Tuesday, International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach proposed the formation of a four-party working group, including the IOC, local 2020 organizers and Japanese government officials, to look at ways of cutting costs.

A review into Olympic expenses ordered by Koike last month has recommended that three venues be changed in an effort to reduce the cost of the Games. They are currently projected to befour times what they had been estimated at three years ago,when Tokyo won the right to host the Summer Olympics.

The recommended changes would see the rowing and canoe sprint events moved from the Sea Forest Waterway in Tokyo Bay to Tome in Miyagi prefecture, around 400 kilometers (248 miles). However, this would require the approval of the IOC and the sports federations involved.

There have also been reports that the events could be moved to a venue in South Korea.

In Tuesday's meeting, though, Bach said that while he was sympathetic to concerns about the costs, he opposed moving any of the venues.

"I think it is in the interest of Japan, Tokyo and IOC that we do not change the rules of the competition after the election," he said. "By respecting these principles we can very well look into the budget of Tokyo 2020 and we can look at the cost. We can see together how we can make it even more feasible."

pfd/dv (dpa, Reuters, AP)

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