(CelebrityAccess) — Dick Pound, a longtime member of the International Olympic Committee said while the IOC has yet to announce anything officially, that the 2020 Tokyo Games will be postponed, likely to 2021.
“On the basis of the information, the IOC has, the postponement has been decided,” Pound told USA Today in a phone interview. “The parameters going forward have not been determined, but the Games are not going to start on July 24, that much I know.”
Pound told the newspaper that he expects a formal announcement to be made in the near future.
“It will come in stages,” he told USA Today. “We will postpone this and begin to deal with all the ramifications of moving this, which are immense.”
Pound’s assessment comes after both Canada and Australia announced they were pulling out of the games in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“While we recognize the inherent complexities around a postponement, nothing is more important than the health and safety of our athletes and the world community,” the Canadian Olympic Committee and Canadian Paralympic Committee said in a joint statement Sunday. “This is not solely about athlete health — it is about public health.”
Pound’s statement also comes just one day after Global Athlete, and an international group representing potential Olympic athletes called on the IOC to postpone the games for 2020.
“As the world unites to limit the spread of Covid-19 virus the IOC and IPC must do the same. To date, both organizations have told athletes to continue to train and prepare for the Tokyo 2020 Games. Athletes want to be part of a solution to ensure the Games are a success but under the current global restrictions that are limiting public gatherings as well as closing training facilities and borders, athletes do not have the ability to appropriately prepare for these Games and their health and safety must come first.”
The IOC has yet to formally make a statement on postponing the event but on Sunday, IOC President Thomas Bach said the organization will continue to evaluate the health crisis over the next four weeks before making a decision.