Coronavirus: Boxing Olympic qualifying event to be suspended from Monday night

Olympic boxing qualifier
The qualifying event went behind closed doors on Sunday

The Olympic European boxing qualifying event in London will be suspended after Monday night's session because of the coronavirus outbreak.

The event began on Saturday at the Copper Box Arena but was moved behind closed doors on Sunday.

The IOC Boxing Task Force (BTF) said "safeguarding the wellbeing of the athletes, officials and all other participants is a top priority".

The event was due to run until 24 March.

Qualifying events in the Americas and final world qualifiers, which were scheduled to take place in May, have also been suspended.

"Since the preparation phase of the event, the BTF has been working in close cooperation with the Local Organising Committee (LOC) - the delivery body of the competition - as well as its stakeholders, its own medical experts and the national health authorities, to set up the necessary precautionary measures," said the BTF.

"The BTF eventually took the decision to suspend the event today, amid increasing global travel restrictions and quarantine measures, in order to allow the participants from over 60 countries to adjust their travel plans and return home."

It added: "The BTF will continue to evaluate the situation daily, aiming to complete the distribution of the remaining Tokyo 2020 boxing quota places in May and June."

The event is being organised by an International Olympic Committee (IOC) taskforce following the suspension of international federation AIBA last year.

The LOC added: "The LOC is extremely disappointed for all of the boxers, who have been training hard and were looking forward to competing in this event here in London and for all the staff and volunteers who have been working tirelessly to deliver an outstanding event.

"The LOC is continuing to work closely with all the international teams and officials to assist with accommodation and travels to ensure they can return home from the UK."