World Cup events suspended to protect Olympic athletes from virus

OBERHOVEN, Switzerland — The last scheduled cross-country skiing World Cup meeting before the Beijing Olympics was canceled on Monday to protect athletes from the risk of contracting COVID-19 in Slovenia.

Planica will host the men’s and women’s cross-country skiing and Nordic skiing competitions from January 21-23.

“Due to the severe development of the current Slovenian pandemic, the safety of stakeholders involved in these large events cannot be guaranteed,” said the International Ski Federation (FIS).

Any athlete who tests positive for COVID-19 so soon before heading to the Winter Olympics, which open on February 4, risks being quarantined and denied entry to China.

FIS said it would find alternative venues for World Cup events in both disciplines. Later this month, a joint Men’s Nordic meeting has been scheduled in Austria.

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