Canada and Australia will not send athletes to the Summer Olympic Games this year if the games aren’t delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic, officials said Sunday.

In a statement, the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Committee said it was “urgently” calling on the organizations that organize the games to postpone the event for one year. “This is not solely about athlete health — this is about public health,” the group said. In Australia, the country’s Olympic Committee also unanimously agreed that its team couldn’t be assembled with the virus continuing to spread around the planet.

Olympics scheduled to begin on June 24th in Tokyo

Earlier Sunday, the International Olympic Committee said it was still evaluating whether the games, scheduled to begin July 24 in Tokyo, would go forward as planned.

“A decision about a postponement today could not determine a new date for the Olympic Games because of the uncertain developments in both directions,” the committee’s president, Thomas Bach, wrote Sunday. “An improvement, as we are seeing in a number of countries thanks to the severe measures being taken, or a deteriorating situation in other countries.”


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