Olympic qualifying events canceled, moved due to deadly Chinese coronavirus outbreak

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TOKYO, JAPAN – JULY 24: The gold medal is displayed after the Tokyo 2020 medal design unveiling ceremony during Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games “One Year To Go” ceremony at Tokyo International Forum on July 24, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images)

The Olympic boxing qualifying tournament for Tokyo 2020 has been canceled due to the deadly coronavirus outbreak, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) confirmed in a statement Wednesday.

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) also announced that the Olympic qualifying for women’s football has been moved from from Wuhan to Nanjing.

It follows an outbreak of the virus last month in the city of Wuhan that has since killed 17 people, sickened hundreds and spread as far as the United States.

Chinese authorities and scientists say wild animals sold at the popular Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market market are the likely source of the new strain of coronavirus, which is in the same family of viruses as the deadly severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).

The boxing qualifiers were due to take place in Wuhan from February 3-14.

The February 3-9 dates for the women’s football, which includes Australia, China, Thailand and Chinese Taipei, will remain the same.

“The Boxing Task Force continues to work closely with the Chinese Olympic Committee (COC) and all partners to explore alternatives and will immediately inform National Olympic Committees, National Federations and officials on any development,” the IOC statement read.

Tokyo 2020 takes place from July 24 to August 9.

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