IOC member Dick Pound also said the ever-changing nature of the Covid-19 pandemic meant nobody could be sure whether the Games would go ahead in less than 200 days.
The International Olympic Committee issued a joint statement with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe postponing the Tokyo Games until next year.
More than 18,500 people have died from Covid-19 globally, according to the Johns Hopkins pandemic tracker.
International Olympic Committee is stepping up its "scenario planning" for the Tokyo 2020 Games –– including a possible postponement –– as the coronavirus pandemic spreads, it says after an emergency meeting.
International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach noted the “difficult circumstances” created by the coronavirus outbreak, but stressed the IOC's commitment to the success of the Tokyo Games.
Japan's dream is at risk from coronavirus if 2020 Tokyo Olympics goes ahead but one man may have final say – Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee.
Announcing the decision, president of the International Olympic Committee cited two Russian athletes testing positive for doping in Pyeongchang which he said was "hugely disappointing".
Ester Ledecka wins the super-G at the Pyeongchang Games, with US star Lindsey Vonn finishing sixth.
Olympic officials also played down a suggestion that the unified Korean ice hockey team could be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Thomas Bach dismissed concerns that North Korea has tried to "hijack" the Winter Games for political purposes following a rapid round of diplomacy between the two Koreas during the opening days of the Games.
North Korea’s latest military parade and Russia’s doping issues cast gloom over the Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang as the final preparations are taking place for the event.
Russian athletes and staff who controversially had their life bans for doping lifted last week will not be invited to the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, the International Olympic Committee says.
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