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Australia says it won’t send basketball team to Olympics if held in 2020

Australia basketball team

BEIJING, CHINA - SEPTEMBER 15: Australia huddles up during the game against France during the 2019 FIBA World Cup Third Place Game at the Cadillac Arena on September 15, 2019 in Beijing, China. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Garrett W. Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE via Getty Images

It was one thing when Canada said it wouldn’t send athletes if the 2020 Tokyo Olympics occurred as scheduled. The Canadian men’s basketball team hadn’t even yet qualified for the Games.

But Australia already clinched a spot despite a volatile finish in the 2019 FIBA World Cup.

Reuters, via CNBC:

the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) said it had told its athletes to prepare for a Tokyo Games taking place in 2021.

“The AOC (Executive Board) unanimously agreed that an Australian team could not be assembled in the changing circumstances at home and abroad,” read the statement.

“The AOC believes our athletes now need to prioritize their own health and of those around them, and to be able to return to the families, in discussion with their national federations.”

The International Olympic Committee is considering postponing the Tokyo Olympics due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Australia was a real threat to medal. If Ben Simmons competed, he could have added star power to a team that already had Joe Ingles, Aron Baynes, Patty Mills and Matthew Dellavedova.