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Olympic Committee member estimates three-month window to decide whether Tokyo Games happen

Olympic Committee member estimates three-month window to decide whether Tokyo Games happen
© Clive Rose/Getty Images

Officials with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) still have about three months to decide whether to go forward with plans to host the 2020 Games in Tokyo, a senior member of the IOC said Tuesday.

Dick Pound, a 42-year IOC veteran, told The Associated Press that a decision could be made to go forward with the Games as late as May, just two months before they are scheduled.

His remarks come as a novel form of coronavirus spreads throughout eastern Asia. Japan has registered the second-highest number of confirmed cases behind China, where the virus is thought to have originated.

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“You could certainly go to two months out if you had to,” Pound told the AP. “A lot of things have to start happening. 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.”

“You’re probably looking at a cancellation," he added, if the situation is deemed unsafe.

In the interview, Pound urged athletes planning on competing in the Tokyo Olympics to continue their training regimens.

“As far as we all know, you’re going to be in Tokyo,” he said.

“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,” he said.