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IOC Boxing Taskforce suspends European qualifier in London

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The International Olympic Committee (IOC) Boxing Taskforce has decided to suspend the current European Olympic Qualifying Tournament in London dubbed “Boxing Road to Tokyo”.

The IOC Boxing Taskforce (BTF) took the decision as a follow up to the widespread deadly Corona Virus that has hit the world so hard.

The European qualifier, which started on Saturday (March 14) and was planned to run until March 24, had to come to an abrupt end on Tuesday.

The announcement comes after the event, being held at the Copper Box Arena, moved behind closed doors due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Americas Olympic Qualifying Tournament was due to have taken place in Argentina’s capital Buenos Aires between March 26 and April 3, has also been suspended, as well as the World Olympic Qualifying Tournament to be held in Paris from May 13 to 24.

“Safeguarding the well-being of the athletes, officials and all other participants is a top priority for the BTF,” an IOC statement reads.

“Since the preparation phase of the event, the BTF has been working in close cooperation with the Local Organising Committee – 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.

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

“The BTF will continue to test the situation daily, aiming to complete the distribution of the remaining Tokyo 2020 boxing quota places in May and June.

“The BTF’s priority remains the qualification of athletes on the field of play, and it will inform all stakeholders as soon as more information is available.”

The IOC also reiterated they fully commit it is fully to the success of this year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo.

“The BTF would like to thank the host nations, the Organising Committees and all the participants involved for their support and tremendous efforts in dealing with this extraordinary situation,” the statement concludes.

The decision comes on a day when British Prime Minister Boris Johnson advised against mass gatherings amid the coronavirus pandemic canceling all remaining sporting events.

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