The 2020 Tokyo Olympics is currently planned to go on as scheduled, but a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) says the current coronavirus outbreak could threaten to cancel the games completely.
Per the Associated Press, longest-serving IOC member Dick Pound (yes, that is his actual name) said that if the coronavirus outbreak isn’t under control by late May, the entire Tokyo Olympics could be canceled.
“In and around that time, I’d say folks are going to have to ask: ‘Is this under sufficient control that we can be confident about going to Tokyo or not?'” said Pound. “A lot of things have to start happening [closer to the start of the Olympic Games.] You’ve got to start ramping up your security, your food, the Olympic Village, the hotels. The media folks will be in there building their studios.”
The coronavirus began in China and has led to 80,000 people worldwide being infected with over 2,700 deaths confirmed. The majority of deaths have occurred in China, but there have been four deaths in Japan, and the virus has spread more to areas in the Middle East and Europe.
Pound said that athletes should continue to train and, “As far as we all know, you’re going to be in Tokyo. All indications are at this stage that it will be business as usual. So keep focused on your sport and be sure that the IOC is not going to send you into a pandemic situation.”