Four-time Olympic champion Michael Johnson has urged the IOC to "communicate" ©Getty Images

Four-time Olympic champion Michael Johnson has urged the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to "communicate" as the coronavirus crisis continues to threaten the staging of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Johnson made the comments on Twitter, responding to growing criticism of the IOC's stance that there is no need for "any drastic decisions at this stage" regarding Tokyo 2020. 

The coronavirus crisis has forced the cancellation or postponement of a number of Olympic qualifying events, while a number of athletes are unable to train due to containment measures. 

There are now more than 304,000 cases of coronavirus worldwide, with more than 12,000 deaths. 

As the cases rise, the calls to move Tokyo 2020 to a later date have been growing louder.

The 52-year-old Johnson did not go this far, but urged the IOC to "communicate" with the athletes. 

"IOC should communicate the window for deciding on the 2020 Olympics," he said.

"Athletes must keep training but for many there’s nowhere to train.

"They may risk their lives and others trying to continue training. 

"Answer isn’t just cancel ASAP. 

"But communicate the process to the athletes."

Johnson has a wealth of Olympic experience himself, earning 4x400 metre relay gold at Barcelona 1992 and 200m and 400m gold at Atlanta 1996.

He then retained his 400m Olympic title at Sydney 2000.