International Olympic Committee postpones 2020 Tokyo Games due to coronavirus pandemic
In a joint statement, the International Olympic Committee and the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee, announced the postponement of the 2020 Summer Olympics. Previously, the IOC said it would take up to four weeks to make a decision about the Tokyo Games. However, in the past 48 hours, both Canada and Australia’s Olympic committees revealed that the countries would not send athletes to the event due to concerns about coronavirus (COVID-10).
From the statement:
The unprecedented and unpredictable spread of the outbreak has seen the situation in the rest of the world deteriorating. Yesterday, the Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said that the COVID-19 pandemic is “accelerating”. There are more than 375,000 cases now recorded worldwide and in nearly every country, and their number is growing by the hour.
In the present circumstances and based on the information provided by the WHO today, the IOC President and the Prime Minister of Japan have concluded that the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021, to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community.
For the WNBA, this news means that the league does not have to take a summer break for the Olympics. However, the WNBA is still deciding how to proceed with starting the season due to the pandemic and the suspension of the NBA season earlier this month. In addition, the cancelation of the entire NCAA tournament deprived WNBA coaches of seeing top prospects in action during the tournament and in combines scheduled to be held in New Orleans during the Final Four.
While the WNBA and its teams issued a statement about coronavirus, players and potential draftees are still waiting to hear about plans for the draft and the onset or postponement of the season.
WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert released the following statement on Marcy 12:
“The health and safety of players and employees – with our teams and at the league level – is of the utmost importance. With regard to COVID-19, we are in touch with the teams, consulting with infectious disease specialists and monitoring guidance from the CDC and WHO. The WNBA is currently not in season, but together with the WNBPA and teams, we have been in close communication and will continue to connect with and offer resources to players in the U.S. and those playing overseas.
In addition, we continue to scenario plan around our upcoming events and season including the 2020 WNBA Draft scheduled for April 17, the start of training camp on April 26 and the tip of the WNBA season on May 15. Further details will be shared later this month.”
USA Basketball Statement
The decision to postpone the 2020 Olympics was a difficult decision and it was the correct one. USA Basketball is in full agreement and support of the decision made by the IOC and the Japanese government to postpone the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. The health, wellness and safety of the world, as well as our athletes, coaches, staff and fans is USA Basketball’s No. 1 priority and this postponement was necessary to ensure that.
As further details become known, USA Basketball will work towards fielding and best preparing its Olympic basketball teams for 2021 and we will do so in a way that we hope will continue USA Basketball’s Olympic legacy and continue to make all Americans proud.