The first four speed skating World Cup and first two stops for short track speed skating for the 2020/21 season have all been cancelled, according to the official website of the International Skating Union (ISU).
The ISU also said in the announcement on Monday that it is yet to be decided if the short track speed skating World Cup in Beijing, which also serves as the test event for the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games, will be held as scheduled, reports Xinhua news agency.
The event, originally scheduled for December 18-20, 2020, together with another World Cup in Seoul, South Korea a week prior to it, is one of the only two high-level ISU competitions for the sport that could possibly be held this year, after the world skating governing body cancelled events in Montreal and Laval, Canada planned for November due to COVID-19 concerns.
A decision on holding the Beijing and Seoul competitions "remains pending further consultations with all stakeholders," according to ISU. The first four speed skating World Cup for the 2020/21 season, in Tomaszow-Mazowiecki (Poland), Stavanger (Norway), Salt Lake City (USA) and Calgary (Canada), were also cancelled due to the pandemic, with the ISU considering a bubble plan in the Netherlands as an alternative.
"Based on a basic proposal endorsed by the organizing ISU Members of the initially allocated ISU World Cup Speed Skating Competitions of the season 2020/21, the Council decided to proceed with a specific evaluation of a Hub Concept in the Netherlands as an alternative to hosting the above-mentioned ISU World Cups," read an announcement by the ISU, adding that a decision will be made after full consultation with all stakeholders.