The 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games will be postponed in the midst of the global coronavirus pandemic, Senior International Olympic Committee (IOC) member Dick Pound told USA Today.
"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."
The Olympics will likely be moved to 2021, with the IOC currently working on a solution due to the evolving situation.
"It will come in stages," Pound added. "We will postpone this and begin to deal with all the ramifications of moving this, which are immense."
The announcement comes following Canada and Australia confirming they would not send athletes to the Olympics in 2020 if they were to go ahead.
"It's definitely responsible, just knowing all the countries that participate," Cleveland Cavaliers and 2012 Olympic gold medalist Kevin Love said on ESPN's The Jump. "It's that fear of the unknown."
"Just getting out ahead of it is super smart, because of that unknown of what the world is going to look like ..." @Rachel__Nichols chats with @kevinlove about the reports of the 2020 Olympics possibly being postponed. pic.twitter.com/nvcti8pQWP- NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) March 23, 2020
The United State Olympic Committee today released a statement requesting that the Olympics be postponed.
"We are thankful to the 1,780 Team USA athletes for sharing their voice and honest input with us as we address the issues related to COVID-19 and the Tokyo Games, and make good on our promise to put athletes first. We are now confident that we have heard a wide range of viewpoints and understand the diversity of challenges our athletes face," the statement read.
"We regret that there is no outcome that can solve all the concerns we face. Our most important conclusion from this broad athlete response is that even if the current significant health concerns could be alleviated by late summer, the enormous disruptions to the training environment, doping controls and qualification process can't be overcome in a satisfactory manner.
"To that end, it's more clear than ever that the path toward postponement is the most promising, and we encourage the IOC to take all needed steps to ensure the Games can be conducted under safe and fair conditions for all competitors. We look forward to their feedback and direction, and stand ready to work in support of Team USA and in full cooperation with the global community."
Despite the calls for postponing the Games, the International Olympic Committee issued a statement saying they planned to wait before making a final call.
"The IOC remains fully committed to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, and with more than four months to go before the Games there is no need for any drastic decisions at this stage; and any speculation at this moment would be counter-productive."
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