Sonia O'Sullivan has called on the IOC to postpone this summer's Olympic Games in Tokyo.

The organisers are in a difficult position already, with boxing having followed the lead of World Rowing in cancelling qualifiers before they're completed.

Over the weekend Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the country is hopeful of hosting the games "without a hitch," but that position seems increasingly less tenable.

"You'd like to see the Olympics going ahead," O'Sullivan told RTÉ Radio 1's Morning Ireland.

"It's such a big, iconic event. It's a tough call, it really is.

"The fairest way, might be, to have the Olympics in 2021. A lot of people will probably lose a lot of money. Nobody wins if everything is cancelled, but already, everybody is losing.

"Anyone who has booked tickets in recent times, even if you can change your flight, when do you change it to? You don't know when everything will be back to normal again.

"Athletes and teams, it's a logistical nightmare for everyone. There is time. It is possible it goes on, but it depends how controlled this pandemic can be.

"I think I would be in favour of the Olympics being postponed until next year, as much as I would love for it to be on this summer."

O'Sullivan holds aloft her silver medal beside winner Gabriela Szabo, of Romania, in Sydney

O'Sullivan's own greatest moment at the Games came in Sydney in 2000 when she claimed a 5,000 metre silver medal.

Before that she had claimed World Championship gold at Gothenburg in 1995, as well as three gold medals at the European Championships and two at the World Cross Country in 1998.

The Cobh-native was a world-beater for a prolonged period, and says she understands the difficult position that athletes are in

"You are in a bit of an unknown space. You still have the goal and the target of the Olympics, but there's always that thought in the back of your mind that it might not go ahead, particularly now with a lot of events being cancelled.

"The Australian National Championships and Olympic Trials have been cancelled, so that takes out your next marker along the way.

"All the spring marathons, London, Vienna, Rotterdam, Boston, they have all been postponed until later in the year and would be well beyond the Olympics if they do take place.

"It's hard to commit fully to putting in a really hard effort if you are unsure if it is leading anywhere. Should you be managing your effort now so you can maintain fitness, putting yourself in a holding pattern?

"There is uncertainty everywhere. It's difficult to see that two weeks will be enough."

"So many people have missed those qualifying opportunities across so many different sports. That's not the most important thing, but it is in the Olympic athlete's life.

"The sooner the IOC make a decision, the sooner the athletes will be settled. You don't need these extra questions. There needs to be something definite decided soon to put everyone at ease. They can't just keep dragging it out.

"It's the toughest question and I'm sure that's why the IOC probably haven't answered yet because they can't find something that will work for everybody."