International Olympic Committee (IOC) member Dick Pound told USA Today on Monday that the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will be postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) confirmed that there has been no official announcement about the postponement of Tokyo Games yet, which is scheduled to start from July 24. The final and formal announcement is awaited only in April.

Key Takeaways:

  • Tokyo Olympic Games likely to be moved to 2021: International Olympic Committee member Dick Pound indicated.
  • The official stand of IOC as of now is that they will make a decision on the Olympic Games in four weeks: IOA General Secretary Rajeev Mehta.
  •  I do not consider Dick Pound’s statement official: Mehta.
  • Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe too had ruled out the possibility of the Games this Summer.

“On the basis of the information the IOC has, postponement has been decided,” Pound, a longtime member of the committee, told the media. “The parameters going forward have not been determined, but the Games are not going to start on July 24, that much I know.” According to Pound, the games are likely to take place in 2021.

Responding to this statement, IOA General Secretary Rajeev Mehta told IANS, “We have not received any official document from IOC (regarding postponement of Games). The official stand of IOC as of now is that they will make a decision on the Olympic Games in four weeks.”

“I do not consider Dick Pound’s statement official,” Mehta claimed.

This response came after Pound stated, “It will come in stages. We will postpone this and begin to deal with all the ramifications of moving this, which are immense.”

Tokyo 2021 is happening?

Pound’s comments come a day after IOC president Thomas Bach sent a letter to Olympic athletes considering a postponement but not cancelling the much-awaited Olympics. “Together with all the stakeholders, we have started detailed discussions today to complete our assessment of the rapid development of the worldwide health situation and its impact on the Olympic Games, including a scenario of postponement,” he wrote. “We are working very hard, and we are confident that we will have finalised these discussions within the next four weeks.”

Several countries including Chairman of the British Olympic Association has said Great Britain is likely to not send a team while Australia and Canada have already backed out saying they will not compete in Japan due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Also Read: What kind of sanitisers protect you against Coronavirus?

P.T. Usha says Games can wait

“Human lives are more precious than anything in sport”

“The Olympics can wait. When you see the happenings around you, especially the situation in Italy, where thousands of lives have been lost, you feel so emotional,” said PT Usha to The Hindu.

“We are staying positive, hoping that this will go away soon. We are happy that efforts are being made here to ensure the deadly virus does not reach the third stage,” said the queen of Indian track and field.

Picture Credit: Axios

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