June 26, 2020 / 12:22 PM / 9 days ago

Paris and Eugene Diamond League meetings scrapped due to coronavirus

FILE PHOTO: Athletics - Diamond League - Charlety Stadium, Paris, France - June 30, 2018 Ronnie Baker of the U.S. wins the men's 100m ahead of France's Jimmy Vicaut, Jamaica's Yohan Blake and South Africa's Akani Simbine REUTERS/Charles Platiau/File Photo

(Reuters) - This year’s Diamond League athletics meetings in Paris and Eugene have been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, organizers said on Friday.

The organizers also confirmed the meeting at Gateshead in England, which was scheduled for Aug. 16, has been postponed.

“Following the latest government announcements on the organization of major events in France, meeting organizers concluded that there is not enough time to organize a world-class international event in the French capital this year,” the Diamond League said in a statement.

The event in Eugene, which was originally scheduled for Oct. 6, was scrapped as the state of Oregon currently has a ban of gatherings, including sporting events until at least the end of September.

“The ban, combined with the expected long term restrictions on international travel, make it impossible to host a world class track & field meet,” the statement said.

The Diamond League has identified Sept. 12 as a possible alternate date for the Gateshead meeting but must wait before announcing confirmation due to British government guidelines and restrictions.

Due to the growing number of countries affected by the COVID-19 virus, the Diamond League season could not start as planned in Doha on April 17.

Meetings have been since canceled in London, Rabat and Zurich - which was originally scheduled to host the season finale in September - while other events on the calendar were postponed due to the pandemic.

British Athletics announced on Friday that the British Athletics Championships will take place on Sept. 4-5 behind closed doors at the Manchester Regional Arena.

Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis

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