The 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games will be postponed, likely to 2021, veteran International Olympic Committee member Dick Pound told USA TODAY Sports.
The postponement has been occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic that is currently sweeping across the globe disrupting sporting calendars.
“On the basis of the information the IOC has, the postponement has been decided. The parameters going forward have not been determined, but the Games are not going to start on July 24, that much I know,” Pound said in a phone interview.
Pound, one of the most influential members of the IOC, added that the details to be worked out in the next four weeks.
“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 Games were scheduled to begin on July 24 but IOC president Thomas Bach had ruled a cancellation hoping that the epidemic would have eased out to allow the kickoff.
The Olympics would be the latest – and, by far, most significant – a sporting event to be impacted by the coronavirus, which was first identified in Wuhan, China, in December. Also known as COVID-19, the virus rapidly spread throughout China and across the world in subsequent months, infecting hundreds of thousands of people and causing substantial disruptions to daily life in numerous countries.