The International Olympic Committee declined Monday to confirm or deny whether the organization has made any final decision about whether to hold the 2020 Tokyo Games as scheduled this summer.
The organization’s statement came after IOC member Dick Pound told USA Today the Games would be postponed until at least 2021 because of the coronavirus outbreak which has essentially shut down Olympic trials for almost every nation affected by the pandemic.
“On the basis of the information the IOC has, postponement has been decided,” Pound told the news outlet. “The parameters going forward have not been determined, but the Games are not going to start on July 24, that much I know.”
“It is the right of every IOC Member to interpret the decision of the IOC EB which was announced yesterday,” an IOC spokesperson told Fox News.
In the Sunday statement, the IOC said it would begin “detailed discussions to complete its assessment of the rapid development of the worldwide health situation and its impact on the Olympic Games, including the scenario of postponement.”
The committee added that those talks, held “in full coordination and partnership” with organizers and Japanese authorities, would likely be finalized “within the next four weeks.”
Pound also told USA Today the ramifications from postponing the Games would be “immense.”
Canada and Australia have already announced they would not be sending athletes to Tokyo, while USA Swimming called on U.S. officials to do the same.
IOC President Thomas Bach sent a letter to athletes Sunday explaining the decision and why it might take so long.
“I know that this unprecedented situation leaves many of your questions open,” Bach wrote. “I also know that this rational approach may not be in line with the emotions many of you have to go through.”
The IOC said scenarios under consideration “relate to modifying existing operational plans for the Games to go ahead on July 24, 2020, and also for changes to the start date of the Games.”
The statement added that “cancellation is not on the agenda.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.