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Major Country Not Sending Athletes To Olympics Unless It's Postponed

A general photo of the Olympic rings.

SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 04: A general view of the Olympic rings ahead of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at the Olympic Park on February 4, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

A prominent country has announced that it is refusing to send its athletes to the Summer Olympics in Tokyo unless the games are postponed.

The International Olympics Committee has yet to postpone the Summer Olympics due to the coronavirus. Most expect that the games will be postponed to a later date, but it's yet to be made official.

Canada is not waiting for a decision to be made. The Canadian Olympic Committee and Canadian Paralympic Committee announced Sunday night that no Canadian athletes will be sent to the Summer Olympics as currently scheduled. Canada wants a one-year postponement.

"The COC and CPC urgently call on the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to postpone the Games for one year and we offer them our full support in helping navigate all the complexities that rescheduling the Games will bring. While we recognize the inherent complexities around a postponement, nothing is more important than the health and safety of our athletes and the world community," the statement said.

"With COVID-19 and the associated risks, it is not safe for our athletes, and the health and safety of their families and the broader Canadian community for athletes to continue training towards these Games. In fact, it runs counter to the public health advice which we urge all Canadians to follow."

The IOC announced earlier Sunday that it could take up to a month to make a final decision on the Summer Olympics.

A postponement would surely be disappointing, but at this point, it's almost certainly the right move. The health and safety of the billions of people around the globe has to take priority.