The 2020 Olympic Games will be postponed because of coronavirus, says International Olympic Committee member Dick Pound, BBC reports.
Dick Pound also broke the news the 2020 Tokyo games, scheduled to run from July 24-Aug. 9, will be pushed back, most likely until 2021, though there are still details that need to be hammered out over the next month.
It comes after the chairman of the British Olympic Association said Great Britain would be unlikely to send a team to Tokyo this summer, Australia and Canada have already said they will not compete in Japan.
"On the basis of the information, the IOC has, the postponement has been decided," Pound told USA today.
“It will come in stages,” said Pound, 78, the longest-serving IOC member. “We will postpone this and begin to deal with all the ramifications of moving this, which are immense.”
Neither the IOC nor the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee had announced a decision to postpone as of Monday afternoon.
When informed of Pound's comments and asked for an IOC response, spokesman Mark Adams said, "It is the right of every IOC member to interpret the decision of the IOC executive board which was announced (in that announcement Sunday, IOC president Thomas Bach indicated, for the first time, that postponing the Tokyo Games would be a possibility).”
Japan and the IOC have said calling off the games entirely is not an option. But finding a new date could be complicated as the summer 2021 calendar is already crowded, while 2022 will see the soccer World Cup and the Beijing Winter Olympics.