Dick Pound says Olympics to be postponed to ’21; IOC responds
A day after the International Olympic Committee said it would take four weeks to review the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on this summer’s Tokyo Olympics — including possibly postponing the Games — longtime IOC member Dick Pound on Monday told USA Today that the Games would be postponed until 2021, with the details to be worked out.
“On the basis of the information the IOC has, postponement has been decided,” Pound said in a phone interview with 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.”
The IOC responded to Pound’s comment, saying in a statement: “It’s the right of every IOC member to interpret the decision of the IOC EB which was announced yesterday.”
Pound’s remarks came as a growing number of countries — including Canada, Australia, Norway, Portugal and Germany — have called for the Games to be postponed.
The IOC on Sunday had announced it would take the next four weeks to review a number of scenarios regarding the Games, including possible postponement, and hoped to have a decision at the end of the four weeks.
Pound said he believes the IOC will announce its next steps soon.
“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 Sunday, Canada’s Olympic committee announced it would not send athletes to the Olympics in Tokyo unless the Games were postponed by one year.
Canada’s announcement followed public calls in the past few days by USA Swimming, USA Track & Field and Global Athlete, a worldwide group representing Olympic hopefuls, that the Games should be postponed.
National Olympic committees in Brazil and Slovenia also have called for a postponement to 2021.
The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency also believes the Games should be put off, CEO Travis Tygart told The Washington Post on Sunday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.