IOC senior member: 3 months to decide fate of Tokyo Olympics

Two people wear masks as they visit the newly opened Japan Olympic Museum located near the New National Stadium, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020, in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
By  | 

TOKYO (AP) -- A senior member of the International Olympic Committee is casting doubt on the possibility of postponing, moving or scattering this summer's Tokyo Games because of the deadly coronavirus outbreak, saying organizers will probably either hold the event or cancel it.

Dick Pound, a former Canadian swimming champion who has been on the IOC since 1978, says there is a three-month window -- perhaps even a two-month one -- to decide the fate of the Tokyo Olympics, meaning a decision could be put off until late May.

The Olympics open on July 24.

Pound says if the virus has not abetted by then "you are probably looking at a cancellation. This is the new war and you have to face it."

Pound said he was speaking for himself, not for the IOC. He no longer serves on the IOC's executive board where he was a member for two decades.

He also sounded a hopeful note and urged athletes to keep training. He says "as far as we know you're going to be in Tokyo."