Olympic 2020 qualification for Summer Games in four International Cycling Union (UCI) disciplines is set to be retroactively stopped as of March 3 in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The UCI said it would ask the International Olympic Committee for qualification in mountain biking, BMX racing, BMX freestyle, and Para-cycling road to conclude from that date.
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It would mean all athletes who are in a qualification spot would be automatically awarded an Olympic 2020 berth, providing the IOC and the IPC agree to the request. In a statement, the UCI said it had made the decision “to preserve sporting equity for the athletes” and claimed continuing with the process in the four disciplines would result in “unfairness between nations”.
The UCI added that between 60 and 75 percent of the qualifying events in the four sports had already been completed. The date was chosen because no nation had been prevented from traveling to events before March 3. The request has been presented to the IOC, in order to allow publication of the Olympic 2020 rankings and quotas of the remaining disciplines as soon as possible.
Olympic 2020 qualification is also finished in road, track and para-cycling track. The virus, which has so far killed more than 8,600 people and infected in excess of 274,000 worldwide, has wreaked havoc on the international sports calendar.
Many events such as World Championships have been postponed or canceled amid travel restrictions and Government bans on competitions involving a certain number of partakers. The UCI has also postponed classification rankings on the international calendar around the world until at least 3rd April.
Faced with this extraordinary and changing situation we must adapt and take necessary measures to guarantee, as far as possible, the security of people at our events as well as sporting equity. The challenges we face in light of the current situation require all members of the cycling family and of the Olympic 2020 movement to be innovative, strong and united.