(Reuters) – International Olympic Committee (IOC) member Dick Pound said on Monday the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games are going to be postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak, according to a USA Today report.
The report said the July 24-Aug. 9 Tokyo Olympics will likely be held in 2021 with the details to be worked out in the next four weeks.
“On the basis of the information the IOC has, postponement has been decided,” Pound told USA Today. “The parameters going forward have not been determined, but the Games are not going to start on July 24, that much I know.”
Canadian Pound, a longtime IOC member, did not immediately respond when asked by Reuters to comment.
Pound’s comments to USA Today come a day after the IOC said it was stepping up its “scenario planning” for the Tokyo 2020 Games — including a possible postponement — as the coronavirus pandemic spreads.
The Olympics has never been postponed or cancelled during peacetime.
Following the IOC’s announcement, major sporting nations Australia and Canada withdrew from the Tokyo Games due to the coronavirus crisis.
More than 337,000 people have been infected by the novel coronavirus worldwide and over 14,600 have died.
(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Additional reporting by Steve Keating; Editing by Ken Ferris)