Coronavirus: World Athletics suspends Olympics qualification period until December

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World Athletics has suspended the qualification period for the postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games until December 1.

The coronavirus pandemic last month forced the International Olympics Committee (IOC) to postpone the Games until July 23, 2021.

In line with that decision, World Athletics has decided – in consultation with its Athletes' Commission, area presidents and Council – to alter the qualification period, meaning any results between April 6 and November 30 will not count towards Tokyo 2020 entry standards or world rankings.

Although qualification status cannot be achieved or boosted in this time, results shall continue to be recorded for statistical purposes, and athletes who have already met entry standards before April 6 will remain qualified.

Should the global situation improve, qualification will resume on December 1 and run through to new deadlines, which are no later than June 29, 2021.

World Athletics president Sebastian Coe said: "I am grateful for the detailed work and feedback from our Athletes' Commission and Council, who believe suspending Olympic qualification during this period gives more certainty for athlete planning and preparation, and is the best way to address fairness in what is expected to be the uneven delivery of competition opportunities across the globe for athletes given the challenges of international travel and government border restrictions."

The organisation also confirmed as of Tuesday, 50 per cent of their "HQ staff" have been furloughed.

The government of Monaco will contribute 70 per cent of the wages of those staff in question, with World Athletics topping up the rest to ensure employees are paid their salary in full.

Coe added: "This decision, made possible by the Monaco government, means we will focus only on business-critical activities for the short-term, which will help us manage our cashflow effectively and protect jobs in the long-term.

"All World Athletics HQ staff will remain on their full salaries during this period with the organisation topping up the Monaco government's contribution.

"We have taken care to ensure the support and services we provide to our member federations, areas, partners, stakeholders, athletes and the wider athletics community remain in place with a reduced team."