In order to test the Games-time environment for the boccia competition during the Paralympic Games, BISFed and Tokyo 2020 had planned to use the Japan Para Championships hosted by the Japan Para Sports Association (JPSA) to carry out the necessary tests.
We regret to announce that this competition has today been temporarily placed on hold by the JPSA until a final decision can be made on staging the event. The JPSA has concluded that further time is necessary to fully analyse the potential impacts should the coronavirus affect an athlete.
It must be stressed that this decision was taken without consultation with BISFed or the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), much to the frustration of both parties.
As a responsible International Federation, BISFed together with the IPC have been monitoring the Coronavirus situation in Japan daily, taking guidance from all the relevant authorities such as the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Japanese Government. There remains no guidance from any of these authorities which suggests that travel to Japan should be avoided.
With these facts in mind, we had therefore expected the Japan Para Championships to proceed as planned. The fact that JPSA cancelled this competition has absolutely no impact on preparations for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. The Games will go ahead as planned this summer.
Contrary to reports circulating on the internet, the boccia Test Event will proceed as planned, but without boccia athlete participation. Regrettably, those Members who had been invited to participate in the Japan Para Championships will no longer do so. These Members have been informed separately.
We regret very much that JPSA has taken this decision, but our fallback plan will enable us to conduct the necessary testing to ensure smooth running of the boccia competition during the Paralympic Games.