“The parameters going forward have not been determined, but the Games are not going to start on July 24, that much I know," Dick Pound said

By Lindsay Kimble
March 23, 2020

It’s official: the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will not go on as planned, according to a member of the International Olympic Committee.

After much back and forth, the Summer Games are the latest major sporting event to be affected by the coronavirus pandemic that has killed thousands across the globe.

RELATED: Lost Sense of Smell May Be a Symptom of Coronavirus, According to Experts

IOC member Dick Pound confirmed the news to USA Today on Monday.

“On the basis of the information the IOC has, postponement has been decided,” Pound explained. “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 unclear when the games will be rescheduled for, but Pound suggested 2021.

RELATED: What is a Dry Cough? Experts Explain the Coronavirus Symptom

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

In a statement to PEOPLE, the IOC said on Monday, “It is the right of every IOC Member to interpret the decision of the IOC EB which was announced yesterday.”

The U.S. Olympic Committee did not immediately responded to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

RELATED: 6 Over-the-Counter Medicines to Treat Mild Coronavirus Symptoms, According to Medical Experts

Pound’s statements come after the IOC’s executive board said in a press release over the weekend that it would “step-up its scenario planning” relating to the games, and make a decision in the next four weeks.

“These scenarios relate to modifying existing operational plans for the Games to go ahead on 24 July 2020, and also for changes to the start date of the Games,” the press release said. “This step will allow better visibility of the rapidly changing development of the health situation around the world and in Japan. It will serve as the basis for the best decision in the interest of the athletes and everyone else involved.”

RELATED: Coronavirus Shows Signs of Slowing in China

It also follows news that Australia and Canada would not send athletes to the games unless they were postponed.

On March 19, IOC president Thomas Bach told the New York Times said there was still “uncertainty” over what would happen in the coming months, and then declined to set a date for when a decision would be made about the Games.

RELATED: ARDS is a Common Cause of Death in Critically Ill Coronavirus Patients—Here's Why

“Of course we are considering different scenarios, but we are contrary to many other sports organizations or professional leagues in that we are four and a half months away from the Games,” said Bach. “They are even more optimistic than we are, because most of them have postponed their events until April or the end of May. We are talking about the end of July.”

He further asserted, “The cancellation is not on the agenda.”

RELATED: Is Diarrhea a Symptom of COVID-19? New Study Says Digestive Issues May Be Common With Coronavirus

Many countries have taken extreme actions to prevent the continued spread of the virus, including in the United States. Some states — including California and New York — have issued different variations on shelter in place orders.

corThe information in this story is accurate as of press time. However, as the situation surrounding COVID-19 continues to evolve, it's possible that some data have changed since publication. While Health is trying to keep our stories as up-to-date as possible, we also encourage readers to stay informed on news and recommendations for their own communities by using the CDC, WHO, and their local public health department as resources.

To get our top stories delivered to your inbox, sign up for the Healthy Living newsletter

This article originally appeared on People.com

Advertisement