Decision to postpone Olympics already made, says IOC member Dick Pound

The International Olympic Committee has already decided to postpone the Tokyo Games due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to IOC member Dick Pound.

The IOC has given itself four weeks to determine the future of this summer’s Olympics, which are due to get under way on July 24.

“On the basis of the information the IOC has, postponement has been decided,” Pound told 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.”

Pound believes the IOC will announce its decision soon, adding: “It will come in stages. We will postpone this and begin to deal with all the ramifications of moving this, which are immense.”

The Canadian Olympic and Paralympic committees have already announced they will not compete in Tokyo this summer, while the Australians have told their athletes to prepare for a postponement to the summer of 2021.

The BOA, the British Paralympic Association and funding body UK Sport will hold a conference call with the chief executives and performance directors of the summer Olympic and Paralympic sports on Tuesday afternoon to discuss the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak.

There is growing anticipation they will make a collective call for the Games to be postponed and to advise athletes to prepare on that basis.

A statement from the Tokyo 2020 organisers on Monday afternoon reiterated that discussions would be finalised in the next four weeks, adding: “Our thoughts are with all those affected by this crisis, and we will continue to prioritise the safety of athletes, spectators and all other Games participants.”

Formula One boss Chase Carey is planning a revised season of 15 to 18 races when the sport resumes. The Azerbaijan Grand Prix, which had been due to take place on June 7, was postponed on Monday, the eighth race to be affected so far.

UEFA has officially postponed the men’s and women’s Champions League finals and the Europa League final, which were all due to take place in May. No decision has been made on rearranged dates.

Former England striker turned broadcaster Gary Lineker tweeted that he is self-isolating after his son George displayed symptoms of the virus.

Australia’s rugby league competition, the NRL, has suspended its season. Matches, played behind closed doors, had continued to take place until Sunday.

In the other code, Gallagher Premiership side Harlequins have asked all staff, players and coaches to take a 25 per cent pay cut.