All signs point to Tokyo Olympics being postponed

IOC members, national Olympic committees and athletes were all on the way to the same conclusion Monday: the Tokyo Olympics will be canceled this summer.

Longtime member of the International Olympic Committee, Craig Reedie told The Associated Press that anyone can see where it is going, with the coronavirus pandemic spreading and Olympic hopefuls around the world unable to train.

“As far as probability is concerned, the information known about conditions in Japan and the effect of COVID-19 on the rest of the world clearly indicates the probability of delay,” said Reedie. “The length of the delay is the biggest challenge for the IOC.”

Earlier in the day, IOC was a member

that he had come to the same conclusion about the games scheduled to start on July 24. The newspaper tweeted: “The 2020 Summer Olympics have been postponed due to concerns of Coronavirus.”

The IOC said no decision had been made, and Reedie quickly recognized that he spoke only for himself and not because of any insight provided to him by IOC President Thomas Bach, who will direct the final decision. Pound did not return a message from AP. Earlier today, after Pound’s statement, an IOC spokesperson said, “It is the right of any IOC member to explain the IOC’s (Executive Board) decision from Sunday.”

Indeed, the interpretations and opinions are just that and have not always been perfect. Last month, Pound told AP that cancellation, not procrastination, was the only real option if the Tokyo Games couldn’t start on time.

But much has changed since then, and the rapid momentum of the “procrastination” movement among athletes and nations seemed to diminish the likelihood that the IOC would take four weeks to reach a conclusion. That was the timeline that the IOC’s executive committee decided on Sunday when it announced it would set up working groups to study the huge logistical challenges associated with postponing the games.

Those issues include the availability of locations in Japan, the disruption of the international sports calendar during the newly chosen date, the re-establishment of qualification procedures and insurance considerations; Both the IOC and the Japanese Organizing Committee have a massive policy, the legal of which takes time to relax.

Following that IOC announcement, both Canada and Australia – whose highest Olympic official is IOC member John Coates, the leader of the inspection team in Tokyo – sent the word that they could not or did not want to send teams to Japan for an Olympics held in July to start .

“I know this is heartbreaking for so many people – athletes, coaches, staff and fans – but this was definitely the right decision, and everyone should follow suit,” said Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Other major delegations that have pushed for postponement include World Athletics, the international federation for the major sport of the Olympics, along with Olympic committees in Brazil, Slovenia and Germany. USA Swimming and USA Track and Field, which together make up about a third of the US team, also want a new date.

Athletes also became louder in their request for postponement. A track group called The Athletics Association joined another athlete group, Global Athlete, to spur the IOC into action.

The track group is led by two-time Olympic champion Christian Taylor from the United States, who said more than 4,000 athletic athletes responded to a survey, and 87% said their training was adversely affected by the corona virus.

Individual athletes also continued to speak out.

“While I am upset that the Olympics are not taking place this year, I agree that this is the best decision to keep athletes and spectators healthy and prevent the virus from spreading,”

in a tweet, responding to Pound’s comments.

And while it says it’s a completed deal that may be rolling up the sleeves, it inevitably feels the announcement will come.

More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

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