An established International Olympic Committee member has said that the Tokyo Olympics set to take place this summer will be postponed due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
The committee confirmed on Sunday that they will make an official decision on the games in the next four weeks and will announce details should it be postponed. However, speaking to USA Today, Canadian Dick Pound said the decision has already been made.
“On the basis of the information the IOC has, postponement has been decided,” Pound said.
“The parameters going forward have not been determined, but the Games are not going to start on July 24, that much I know.
“It will come in stages. We will postpone this and begin to deal with all the ramifications of moving this, which are immense.”
In their statement on Sunday, the IOC confirmed that they were planning for different scenarios should the Olympics be postponed, however, they firmly stated that cancelling the games was not an option.
“On the one hand, there are significant improvements in Japan where the people are warmly welcoming the Olympic flame. This could strengthen the IOC’s confidence in the Japanese hosts that the IOC could, with certain safety restrictions, organise Olympic Games in the country whilst respecting its principle of safeguarding the health of everyone involved.
“On the other hand, there is a dramatic increase in cases and new outbreaks of COVID-19 in different countries on different continents. This led the EB to the conclusion that the IOC needs to take the next step in its scenario-planning.
“The IOC EB emphasised that a cancellation of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 would not solve any of the problems or help anybody. Therefore, cancellation is not on the agenda.”
The Tokyo Olympics are currently scheduled to begin on July 4 with the closing ceremony taking place on August 9. The Paralympics are scheduled to run from August 25 to September 6.