Major League Baseball Commissioner raises doubtsover players competing at Tokyo 2020 Olympicsrn
Manfred claimed there have not been any "substantive discussions" with the World Baseball Softball Confederation

InsidetheGames, 8 March 2017 - Major League Baseball (MLB) Commissioner Rob Manfred has raised doubts over whether players from the world's top league will compete at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, claiming he does not believe owners would support a break in the seasonManfred has echoed concerns expressed last month by Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) head Tony Clark, who warned the impact on the MLB schedule is the biggest obstacleThe Tokyo 2020 Olympics is due to be held from July 24 to August 9, falling in the middle of the baseball season which runs from April to October. Manfred claimed there have not been any "substantive discussions" with the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) about the participation of MLB players, but added he is "sure that those conversations will take place"When contacted by insidethegames regarding Manfred's comments, a WSBC spokesperson confirmed "the format and other technical details have not been finalised".  "There is also the staging of a game in Fukushima to consider - to see if that is realistic - to see if that’s possible or not without long travel days negatively affecting the athletes or lengthening the tournament," the spokesperson added."WBSC’s 2020 bid was to keep Olympic baseball as compact as possible - reducing it from two weeks in past Games to five or six days - to facilitate player availability. "WBSC is in discussions with Tokyo 2020 and awaiting confirmation of the final proposed venue plan for Olympic baseball and softball events, and this will shape the format and length of the tournament.  "All our sport’s stakeholders and professional leagues are awaiting the confirmation of these key details because they share the Olympic vision."WBSC is both optimistic and determined to ensure that baseball/softball at the Tokyo 2020 Games is a full success and engages audiences in Japan and globally as intended by Agenda 2020."rn(Read the full story on InsidetheGames)rn