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23 Mar, 2020 18:18

'Postponement has been decided': IOC member Dick Pound says Tokyo 2020 Olympics WILL be postponed

'Postponement has been decided': IOC member Dick Pound says Tokyo 2020 Olympics WILL be postponed

One of the most senior names in the International Olympic Committee has stated that a decision has already been made to postpone the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Longstanding IOC member Dick Pound told USA Today Sports that the decision has been made and an announcement will be forthcoming, with future plans and contingencies set to be discussed and announced moving forward.

Speaking on Monday, Pound said: "On the basis of the information the IOC has, 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."

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Pound explained that the IOC's announcement, as well as details of its future plans, will soon follow.

"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."

Despite Pound's comments, the official line coming out of the IOC remains that they are considering their options.

"Well, as we announced yesterday, we are looking at scenarios," said spokesman Mark Adams.

The likelihood of postponement has increased by the day, with the Canadian Olympic team announcing that it would not be sending its team to the Games if it goes ahead at the scheduled time.

Other national Olympic committees, including those from Germany, Norway and Brazil, have called for the games to be postponed, while the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and the President of the United States have also made public statements cranking up the pressure on the IOC to push back the Games.

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IOC president Thomas Bach had stated, via letter to athletes, that the organization would consider alternative options – including possible postponement – with a decision to be made within the next four weeks.

But if Pound's comments are proved accurate, that decision may have already been made within 24 hours.

If the Games are postponed, it will mark the first time the four-year sporting celebration has been forced to switch dates. The Games has carried on despite national boycotts in the past, including in 1976, 1980 and 1984, and the Games have been canceled three times previously during World War I and World War II.

But 2020 would represent the first time an Olympic Games was postponed.

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