The International Canoe Federation is preparing contingency plans in the event this year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games are postponed.

The ICF is following the advice and direction of the International Olympic Committee, which is in ongoing discussions with the Tokyo 2020 organisers regarding the best path forward for the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The ICF contingency plans will centre around the wellbeing of the athletes and support staff, and will include proposals for different levels of competitions, development camps and support for our broader canoeing family.

“These are very difficult and certainly unprecedented times for the entire world, of which canoeing is just one small part of it,” ICF President, Jose Perurena, said.

“Of course, no-one wants to see the Olympics postponed. But it would be irresponsible of us, as canoeing’s world governing body, not to put in place plans to deal with all possible scenarios.

“We want to re-assure all our athletes, coaches, officials, hosts and volunteers that our contingency plans will centre around their needs, and what is best for our sport overall. We will consult widely, and keep everyone informed as soon as we have new information to share.

“The ICF is in constant communication with the IOC, and will obviously be guided by any decisions it takes. We are also keeping the IOC informed about the situation confronting our athletes, including the lack of competition, the inability to train, and the changing circumstances surrounding the Olympic qualification process.”

The ICF has already been forced to cancel several competitions scheduled for the coming months, and is constantly monitoring the worldwide situation regarding the spread of the coronavirus.

It is also working to determine the fairest qualification programme for the Olympic and Paralympic quota positions still not allocated.

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