Tokyo 2020 Olympics Postponed Due to Spread of Coronavirus

IOC’s Dick Pound confirms plans to delay Tokyo Olympics		
		
	Brian Heater

			@bheater	 
		7 hours

International Olympic Committee member Dick Pound believes the IOC has already made a decision to postpone the Tokyo Olympics because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Games had been set to start on July 24.

"The IOC has come under a lot of criticism, although it has never said it wanted to maintain the Games at any cost". "We will postpone this and begin to deal with all the ramifications of moving this, which are enormous", said Pound.

"Cancellation is not an option", Abe said, echoing comments from International Olympic Committee chief Thomas Bach, who ruled out scrapping the Games, saying it "would not solve any problem and would help nobody".

It also follows news that Australia and Canada would not send athletes to the games unless they were postponed.

French Olympic Committee president Denis Masseglia said: "The moment the IOC indicates that it is thinking about other solutions, it has already chose to delay the game". The AOC made the announcement in a statement, where they said that "athletes now need to prioritize their own health and of those around them". "It was also agreed that the Games will keep the name Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020".

The LDP, headed by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, is seeking to maintain close coordination between the central government and Koike amid prospects that the Tokyo Olympics this summer may have to be postponed due to the global coronavirus outbreak.

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Paralympic athletes may be at particular risk from the epidemic as some have underlying health problems.

There had been growing calls for Tokyo 2020 to not take place as the world struggles with the coronavirus pandemic, despite the committee insisting over the past few weeks it would go ahead. "It will serve as the basis for the best decision in the interest of the athletes and everyone else involved".

In a press release published just yesterday, the International Olympic Committee admitted for the first time that postponement was a scenario they were considering, but focused most of the release on the extensive health and safety plans that they were planning to put in place.

Are YOU surprised that the Olympics will be postponed???

"No-one wants to see the Olympic Games postponed but, as I have said publicly, we can not hold the event at all costs, certainly not at the cost of athlete safety".

The U.S. Olympic Committee did not immediately responded to PEOPLE's request for comment.

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