When the 2020 Tokyo Olympics were postponed to 2021 earlier this week, thousands of athletes around the world who had already qualified for the Games were left to wonder if they would have to re-earn their spots.

The International Olympic Committee offered some reassuring news for those athletes Friday.

IOC spokesperson Mark Adams confirmed in a text message to USA TODAY Sports that qualified athletes will keep their spots and not have to re-qualify, providing clarity on one of the most significant issues amid the fallout of the Olympic postponement.

Reuters first reported the news Friday.

The IOC and Japanese officials announced Tuesday that they had agreed to postpone the Games to the spring or summer of 2021 due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the first time in modern Olympic history that the Games have been postponed. The decision prompted questions about the logistical hurdles and economic ramifications of such a move, but also confusion about qualifying.

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