International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach said athletes would not be barred from next year's Tokyo Olympics regardless of the situation of novel coronavirus infections in their homeland, German news agency DPA reported Thursday.

Bach made the statement on social media site Instagram in a chat with German javelin thrower Johannes Vetter. The IOC president said local organizers were preparing countermeasures for the games, which were postponed for one year due to the pandemic.

"The athletes are not responsible for that (the state of infections in their homelands)," Bach said. "If the athletes test negative, if they respect the anti-coronavirus guidance...we should give them the chance to participate."

Organizers are now considering an independent coronavirus testing and treatment facility within the athletes' village.

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