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  • Cycling Chief: Decision on Tokyo 2020 Venue is Coming Soon


    (ATR) Brian Cookson tells Around the Rings that cycling's world governing body and Tokyo 2020 are nearing a final decision on a proposal to move cycling events to a venue outside the Japanese capital.

    "We've met with Tokyo again to discuss some of the issues that have been causing us concern," the International Cycling Union chief told ATR last week.

    "There's a proposal to move track cycling out to Izu, which is quite some distance from central Tokyo."

    Cookson spoke with ATR on the sidelines of the 2015 ANOC General Assembly in Washington D.C.

    Cycling, like many other sports on the Tokyo Olympic program, has had its venues changed from the original bid document. 

    "Everyone's aware that we were not terribly happy with the proposals that were so different from the bid document," Cookson said. 

    Tokyo organizers and the UCI had hoped to lock down plans for the velodrome, BMX and mountain bike courses earlier in September. 

    Brian Cookson, UCI president (Getty Images)
    UCI raised serious concerns with Tokyo 2020 officials about the impact of the relocation plan following more than six months of negotiations. 

    Tokyo 2020 leaders claim they will save money by moving the venues to Izu, two-and-a-half hours away from Tokyo. Izu has an existing indoor velodrome for track cycling. Using the existing venue could save Tokyo $100 million, ATR has been told.

    While in Washington last week, Cookson held talks with Tokyo organizers, IOC President Thomas Bach, and IOC vice-president John Coates, who heads the coordination commission for the 2020 Olympics.

    "We're still in discussion with Tokyo 2020 and with the IOC about the implications of the venue change and we're close to a final agreement," Cookson told ATR.

    "I'm optimistic that within the next few weeks, everything will be done and dusted and we'll have a good outcome."

    Written by Nicole Bennett

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