Kenya suspends travel clearance for athletes over coronavirus
Athletics – London Marathon – London, Britain – April 28, 2019, Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge celebrates winning the men’s elite race with the trophy as he poses after setting a new course record. [REUTERS/Paul Childs]

Athletics Kenya (AK) has suspended all clearance and travel to international events for athletes and athlete support personnel until further notice over coronavirus.

“Following a directive from the GOK and due to the global outbreak of the Covid-19 virus, AK has suspended all clearance and travel to international events for athletes &athlete support personnel until further notice,” said AK in a statement seen by Game Yetu.

The announcement comes a day after the World Health Organization (WHO) labelled Covid-19 a pandemic.

According to official announcements, more than 126,000 people have been infected worldwide and more than 4,600 have succumbed.

Kenya has not had a confirmed case of the deadly virus.

Kenya suspends travel clearance for athletes over coronavirus
Senior team race during National Cross country championship at Ngong Racecourse ahead of Africa Cross country championships to be held in Togo. Feb 15, 2020. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Kenyan athletes have expressed fear the spread of coronavirus could affect their track and field series which in turn may affect participation at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.  

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So far, the outbreak has seen some competitions in various sports postponed and others cancelled raising concerns over the upcoming international sporting events including Diamond League series and Olympics Games in Japan.

Last month, World Athletics cancelled the 2020 World Athletics Indoor Championships which was scheduled to take place from March 13-15 in China over Covid-19 fears in the country.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has exuded confidence that the 2020 showpiece will go on as planned.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has stepped up national measures to contain the virus, calling on organisers of large events to consider cancelling or delaying them.

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