Coronavirus Disrupts World Athletics Race Walking Team Championships

The world is now feeling the effects of coronavirus as many governments move to contain its further spread.

Most governments have put in place measures to combat the spread among them, banning public gatherings and canceling many public activities to minimize the spread of the virus.

Below is the full statement released by the World Athletics on the way forward after the world football body announced the cancellation of all football matches.

“It is with regret that we have agreed with the Belarus Athletic Federation and the Ministry of Sports and Tourism of the Republic of Belarus to postpone the World Athletics Race Walking Team Championships Minsk 2020 (May 2-3), due to the ongoing challenges created by the spread of new Coronavirus (COVID-19) internationally.

The Belarus Government announced today that it was canceling all mass events until at least early April.

The current global situation would have seriously compromised the event at this time as many countries are now restricting international travel, invoking quarantines and advising citizens and event organisers to avoid mass gatherings.

First and foremost we had to consider the health and well-being of our athletes, officials and spectators in making this decision.

The advice from our medical team, who are in contact with the World Health Organisation, is that the spread of the Coronavirus is at a concerning level in many countries and all major gatherings should be reviewed.

We are working with the Local Organising Committee to identify an appropriate alternative date for both the host city and for the elite competitors. We thank the local authorities in Minsk for all the work they have done to prepare for this event and we hope to be able to announce a new date in the coming weeks.

New temporary working arrangements for World Athletics headquarters

In order to support the worldwide efforts to reduce the risk of spreading the COVID-19 virus and protect our workforce and their families, World Athletics will be introducing new working arrangements for its head office staff based in Monaco.

From Monday 16 March all staff with children, living with elderly relatives or with specific health issues will work from home.
During the course of the week, the remaining workforce, particularly those commuting from France, will work from home.
All business travel has been suspended.

Commenting on the decision, World Athletics CEO Jon Ridgeon said: “Following the introduction of school closures in both Monaco and France, we are taking prudent precautions for the welfare of our workforce and their families by transitioning our head office workforce to work from home given many individuals travel into Monaco daily from France and some from Italy.

“As a sports governing body, the majority of our staff work remotely on a regular basis so we have the technology and the processes in place to ensure we can continue to deliver across the organisation and the sport.

“I would like to thank our staff for their passion and professionalism towards athletics in agreeing to these measures which we hope will be for a limited amount of time.”