International Olympic Committee (IOC) member Dick Pound says the Tokyo Olympics will be postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The IOC on Sunday stated that it is considering putting the Games, due to start on July 24, back and will make a decision in the next four weeks, but the extravaganza will not be cancelled.
Long-serving IOC Committee member Pound on Monday revealed the event will not go ahead as planned.
He told USA TODAY Sports: “On the basis of the information the IOC has, postponement has been decided.
“The parameters going forward have not been determined, but the Games are not going to start on July 24, that much I know.”
Pound added that further details will be revealed in the near future.
“It will come in stages,” the Canadian said. “We will postpone this and begin to deal with all the ramifications of moving this, which are immense.”
Canada, on Sunday, disclosed that it would not send athletes to the Olympic or Paralympic Games in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“The Canadian Olympic Committee [COC] and Canadian Paralympic Committee [CPC], backed by their athletes’ commissions, national sports organisations and the government of Canada, have made the difficult decision to not send Canadian teams to the Olympic and Paralympic Games in the summer of 2020,” a statement read.
“The COC and CPC urgently call on the International Olympic Committee [IOC], and the International Paralympic Committee [IPC] and the World Health Organization [WHO] to postpone the Games for one year and we offer them our full support in helping navigate all the complexities that rescheduling the Games will bring.
“While we recognise the inherent complexities around a postponement, nothing is more important than the health and safety of our athletes and the world community.
“This is not solely about athlete health – it is about public health. With COVID-19 and the associated risks, it is not safe for our athletes, and the health and safety of their families and the broader Canadian community for athletes to continue training towards these Games. In fact, it runs counter to the public health advice which we urge all Canadians to follow.
“The COC and CPC reviewed the letter and news release sent Sunday by the IOC. We are thankful to the IOC for its assurance that it will not be cancelling the Tokyo 2020 Games and appreciative that it understands the importance of accelerating its decision-making regarding a possible postponement.
“We also applaud the IOC for acknowledging that safeguarding the health and wellness of nations and containing the virus must be our paramount concern. We are in the midst of a global health crisis that is far more significant than sport.” – BeIN.