The 2020 Tokyo Olympics won’t be held as scheduled, International Olympic Committee member Dick Pound tells Christine Brennan of USA Today. According to Pound, the coronavirus pandemic will cause the Games to be postponed, likely until 2021, with many of the details expected to be worked out in the coming weeks.
“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.”
The IOC has yet to make any official announcements regarding the 2020 Olympics, having suggested over the weekend for the first time that a postponement was being considered. Pound tells Brennan that he believes formal announcements are coming 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.”
The Canadian and Australian Olympic Committees have issued statements suggesting they won’t participate in the 2020 Olympics unless they’re postponed, and Brennan notes that Germany, Brazil, Norway, and other countries have publicly urged the IOC to delay the Games.
Assuming the IOC does officially push back the 2020 Olympics, it’s unclear exactly how the basketball portion of the event might be affected. Eight of 12 teams in the men’s basketball tournament have been decided, with four spots still up for grabs. Qualifying tournaments for those last four spots were scheduled to be held in June, but they’ll presumably be postponed as well.
Depending on when the rescheduled qualifiers and Olympics take place and how the NBA ultimately handles its own postponed season, it’s possible the two calendars will overlap, limiting NBA players’ ability to participate in the Games.