Coronavirus: Tokyo Olympics will be postponed until 2021 - IOC's Dick Pound

  • 24/03/2020

Veteran International Olympic Committee member Dick Pound has confirmed the Tokyo Olympic Games are set to be postponed until 2021.

USA Today reports Pound said an official announcement would come within the next month, amid absolute chaos in the sporting world, due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

"On the basis of the information the IOC has, postponement has been decided,” Pound said according to reports. 

"The parameters going forward have not been determined, but the Games are not going to start on July 24, that much I know.

"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."

On Monday, Canada became the first country to officially withdraw from the Games, should they be held this year as scheduled.

In a matter of hours, they were joined by Australia, Germany, Norway, Brazil and the United Kingdom in demanding a postponement.

NZ Olympic Committee president Mike Stanley told Newshub it would seriously consider boycotting the Tokyo Games, if the International Olympic Committee did not to postpone.

This would the first time the Olympics have been suspended, although they have been cancelled previously during periods of war. 

The 1916 Games were cancelled because of World War I, as were the Summer and Winter Games in 1940 and 1944, due to World War II.

Boycotts also caused serious complications for the Games in 1976, 1980 and 1984, but in each case, the event itself went on as scheduled.