The World Athletics along with International Athletics Foundation (IAF) on Tuesday launched a USD 500,000 fund to help athletes facing financial hardships due to the global coronavirus outbreak.

The coronavirus pandemic has brought all sporting action to halt. The outbreak has decimated the world of sports and many athletes are facing the loss of income due to the suspension of tournaments.

“I am in constant contact with athletes around the world and I know that many are experiencing financial hardship as a consequence of the shutdown of most international sports competition in the last two months,” said World Athletics President Sebastian Coe in an official statement.

“Our professional athletes rely on prize money as part of their income and we’re mindful that our competition season, on both the track and road, is being severely impacted by the pandemic,” he added.

Coe will chair a multi-regional working group to assess the applications for assistance. The meeting which is scheduled later this week will look at other ways to raise additional funds.

“We are hopeful that we will be able to stage at least some competition later this year, but in the meantime we will also endeavour, through this fund and additional monies we intend to seek through the friends of our sport, to help as many athletes as possible,” he said.

Earlier on April 23, the Diamond League suspended its two athletics meetings scheduled for June due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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