LAUSANNE – Politicians and athletes should keep politics out of this year's Tokyo Olympic Games to protect the event's neutrality and its status as a peaceful meeting place, International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach said on Thursday.
The Games have seen both political protests by athletes in the past as well as boycotts of nations and Bach said any infusion of politics into the Games in Tokyo starting on July 24 would not be welcome.
Tensions between the United States and Iran have risen sharply in recent days prompting major concerns across the world, while South Korea has said there is an urgent need to improve ties with North Korea.
China, Japan and South Korea recently agreed to work together to promote dialogue between the United States and reclusive North Korea.
“The mission of the Olympics is to unite and not to divide. We are the only event in the world that gets the entire world together in a peaceful competition,” Bach told reporters after a meeting with the IOC athletes' commission chief Kirsty Coventry.