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Tokyo 2020 Games delay looms after U.S. joins calls for postponement

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SHOWS:

INTERNET (MARCH 23, 2020) (USOPC - ACCESS ALL) (MUTE)

1. VARIOUS SCREENSHOTS OF UNITED STATES OLYMPIC & PARALYMPIC COMMITTEE STATEMENT

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL (FILE - AUGUST 5, 2016) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) (MUTE)

2. VARIOUS STILL PHOTOS OF TEAM USA WALKING TOGETHER DURING OPENING CEREMONY OF THE 2016 SUMMER OLYMPICS

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL (FILE - AUGUST 16, 2016) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) (MUTE)

3. STILL PHOTO OF SIMONE BILES POSING WITH GOLD MEDAL

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL (FILE - AUGUST 21, 2016) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) (MUTE)

4. STILL PHOTO OF USA MEN'S BASKETBALL TEAM POSING WITH THEIR GOLD MEDALS

STORY: U.S. Olympic organisers joined calls for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Games to be postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, while the International Olympic Committee, according to member Dick Pound, has decided to delay the event, likely for a year.

The United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) said it had listened to feedback from athletes and was encouraged by a clearer path towards postponement.

"Our most important conclusion from this broad athlete response is that even if the current significant health concerns could be alleviated by late summer, the enormous disruptions to the training environment, doping controls and qualification process can't be overcome in a satisfactory manner," the USOPC said in a statement on Monday (March 23).

Pound told Reuters a one-year postponement looked like the best solution. This would mean the Games, scheduled for July 24-Aug. 9, are likely to be held in the summer of 2021.

Major sporting nations Australia and Canada withdrew on Monday as organizers came under mounting pressure to postpone the event for the first time in its 124-year modern history.

Japan and the IOC have said calling off the Games entirely is not an option. But finding a new date could be complicated as the summer 2021 calendar is already crowded, while 2022 will see the soccer World Cup and the Beijing Winter Olympics.

(Production: Bob Mezan)

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