April 23 (Reuters) - The 2020 European athletics championships, due to be held in Paris at the end of August, have been cancelled because of the COVID-19 outbreak, organisers said on Thursday.
“The decision to cancel was driven by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the associated risks linked to the current situation, which are far from being under control, as well as the existing ban on mass gatherings in France,” said European Athletics in a statement.
It said the decision was partly swayed by an “unfavourable opinion” from the French Athletics Federation medical commission after it evaluated potential risks for spectators and officials.
The event had been due to take place from Aug. 25-30.
“We had hoped in these troubled times to offer European athletes a major event to aim for at the end of this summer,” said Dobromir Karamarinov, the interim president of European Athletics.
“Unfortunately, today we were informed by the local organising committee and French athletics federation that, after discussions with the relevant French....authorities, they were no longer able to proceed with delivering the championships this August.” (Writing by Brian Homewood, editing by Ed Osmond)