The European Athletics Championships scheduled for Paris in August has become the latest high-profile event to be cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.
While the Olympic Games in Tokyo and World Championships in Oregon have both been postponed until next year, the local organising committee (LOC) and French athletics federation (FFA) have decided against following suit.
European Athletics interim president Dobromir Karamarinov said: “It is with great regret that we announce the cancellation of the Paris 2020 European Athletics Championships.”
A number of major sporting events, including Wimbledon and The Open, will not be held this year because of the crisis and the rescheduling of the Olympics and World Championships left precious little room in the calendar.
An extraordinary LOC executive committee meeting following an earlier assembly between the relevant French authorities led to the decision being taken.
Karamarinov added: “We had hoped in these troubled times to offer European athletes a major event to aim for at the end of this summer.
“Unfortunately, today we were informed by the LOC and French athletics federation that, after discussions with the relevant French national and local public health and safety authorities, they were no longer able to proceed with delivering the championships this August and were forced to cancel the event.
“Whilst we regret announcing the cancellation of our European Athletics Championships, it is worth reiterating that in these unprecedented times the health and safety of all athletics’ stakeholders including athletes, fans, officials, partners and everyone connected with the sport is paramount.“We will always do what is best for the members of our athletics family and the wider public.”