The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games will be postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to International Olympic Committee member Dick Pound.
“On the basis of the information the IOC has, postponement has been decided,” Pound told USA Today. “The parameters going forward have not been determined, but the Games are not going to start on July 24, that much I know.”
He expects the games, which are scheduled to start July 24, will take place in 2021.
There has not yet been an official announcement from the full committee, but Pound expects one soon.
“It will come in stages,” he said. “We will postpone this and begin to deal with all the ramifications of moving this, which are immense.”
Pound’s comments come a day after IOC president Thomas Bach sent a letter to Olympic athletes acknowledging for the first time that a postponement is possible.
“Together with all the stakeholders, we have started detailed discussions today to complete our assessment of the rapid development of the worldwide health situation and its impact on the Olympic Games, including a scenario of postponement,” he wrote. “We are working very hard, and we are confident that we will have finalized these discussions within the next four weeks.”
Several countries’ Olympic committees have already called for a postponement. Some countries, such as Canada and Australia will not send athletes to the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo because of the risks associated with the coronavirus outbreak, the Olympic committees for both countries said in separate statements.
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