Former IOC member Dick Pound informed USA TODAY Sports on Monday that the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games have been postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.
“Postponement has been decided,” says Pound, citing information the IOC possesses. Despite this, “the parameters for the future have not yet been defined, but the games will not begin on July 24, that much I can tell.”
Longtime IOC member Pound, from Canada, believes the games will be moved to 2021, and the details will be ironed out in just four weeks. He said that the International Olympic Committee is anticipated to make a statement soon.
Pound, 78, diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, will be a gradual progression. Let us wait until we deal with the massive ramifications of this.”
No formal statement has been made by the International Olympic Group (IOC) or the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee since Monday afternoon.
The IOC’s Mark Adams responded to questions regarding Pound’s remarks by saying, “It is the discretion of any IOC member to interpret the decision of the IOC executive board which was issued (Sunday).”
IOC head Thomas Bach hinted at a postponement of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics on Sunday for the first time.
A decision on whether or not to go through with the Olympic Games will be made by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) within the next four weeks. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reiterated the IOC’s stance on cancellation and led a delegation of senior Japanese government officials on Monday.
The Tokyo 2020 organizing organization did not immediately respond to a USA TODAY Sports request for comment.
A coronavirus outbreak would be the most high-profile sporting event to become infected by this virus. More than one million people were infected with the disease known as COVID-19, which spread rapidly and caused major disruptions to daily life in various countries.