The upcoming Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, will not go on as planned, an International Olympic Committee member has revealed to USA Today. Dick Pound said that “on the basis of the information the IOC has, postponement has been decided.” It’s believed that the global sporting competition will be pushed back to 2021 as a result of the coronavirus outbreak that has affected 195 countries.
“The parameters going forward have not been determined, but the Games are not going to start on July 24, that much I know,” he continued, adding that “it will come in stages. We will postpone this and begin to deal with all the ramifications of moving this, which are immense.”
Despite Pound’s confirmation to USA Today, IOC President Thomas Bach nor the Games itself have made a formal announcement as to any decision regarding a postponement. On Sunday, Bach said that they would use the next four weeks to assess the situation and make a final decision. The Games, he clarified, would not be canceled.
Additionally, Australia and Canada both announced that they would not send their athletes to the 2020 competition in Japan. According to CBS Sports, “the Canadian Olympic Committee and Canadian Paralympic Committee announced Sunday night that they will refuse to send athletes if the Games are not postponed, becoming the first country to officially announce their intentions to withdraw from the games barring a postponement.”
The Australian Olympic Committee, meanwhile, came to a unanimous decision on Monday, agreeing “that the country's Olympic team shouldn't participate due to the circumstances surrounding the coronavirus,” CBS Sports reports.
If postponed, the Olympics will become one of the biggest events affected by the spread of COVID-19, which has already resulted in numerous shutdowns and cancellations as well as the suspension of the current NBA, MLS and NHL seasons.
ET has reached out for confirmation.