UPDATE: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and IOC President Thomas Bach have agreed to postpone the 2020 Tokyo Olympics until no later than the summer of 2021.
TOKYO – According to official veteran International Olympic Committee (IOC) member Dick Pound, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will be postponed.
In an interview with USA Today, Pound said that the games are likely to be postponed to 2021, with details to be worked out in the coming weeks.
“On the basis of the information the IOC has, postponement has been decided,” Pound said 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, a Canadian who has been one of the most influential members of the IOC for decades, said he believes the IOC will announce its next steps soon.
“It will come in stages,” he said. “We will postpone this and begin to deal with all the ramifications of moving this, which are immense.”
The announcement comes days after Australia and Canada both withdrew from the Olympics, that they would not send their athletes to the games if it was held this summer.
In its own statement, the IOC said that they have set a four-week deadline to make a final decision.
“In light of the worldwide deteriorating situation… the executive board has today initiated the next step in the IOC’s scenario-planning,” it said in a statement.
“These scenarios relate to modifying existing operational plans for the Games to go ahead on 24 July 2020, and also for changes to the start date of the Games.”
Cancellation is “not on the agenda”, said the IOC, but a “scaled-down” Games will also be considered. Postponement, up to a year, is said to be the most likely outcome.