Sergey Bubka was among the World Athletics Council members participating via teleconference following travel restrictions ©Getty Images

The two-day World Athletics Council meeting began here today with several members participating via teleconference, amid travel restrictions related to the coronavirus.

The Council meeting had initially been due to take place in Nanjing, held alongside the World Indoor Athletics Championships in the Chinese city.

The Championships was one of the first sporting events to be impacted by the coronavirus outbreak, which originated in China, with World Athletics’ agreeing to move the event to 2021.

Members of the World Athletics Council have been impacted by travel restrictions introduced by nations, as well as here in Monaco.

China’s Nan Wang, Japan’s Hiroshi Yokokawa and Italy’s Anna Riccardi have been among the members absent from the meeting, along with World Athletics’ vice-president Sergey Bubka and American Willie Banks.

Absent members have participated through teleconference on the first day of the meeting, where the impact of coronavirus on athletics has been a topic.

The World Half Marathon Championships in Poland is among the events to have been postponed to date, with the event moving from March 29 until October 17.

Several half-marathon and marathon events around the world have been impacted by the outbreak.

The Tokyo Marathon took place earlier this month without spectators, while events in Barcelona, Paris and Rome have been either postponed or cancelled.

Athletics Kenya confirmed today that an international travel ban introduced by Kenya's Government for one month would apply to its athletes in a letter to athletes’ representatives.

It followed claims the ban only applied to team sports.

World Athletics Task Force head Rune Andersen will present their latest report on RusAF tomorrow ©Getty Images
World Athletics Task Force head Rune Andersen will present their latest report on RusAF tomorrow ©Getty Images

“Following a directive from the Government of Kenya and due to the global outbreak of the Covid-19 virus, Athletics Kenya hereby informs you that all clearance and travel to international events for athletes and athlete support personnel has been suspended until further notice,” wrote Susan Kamau, Athletics Kenya’s chief administrative officer.

“In a bid to safeguard the athletes and consequently the country from the virus, we urge you to cancel all travel arrangements for athletes and athlete support personnel in your management for the next one month pending further communication.”

To date, no-one in Kenya has tested positive for the virus which has infected more than 120,000 people and killed more than 4,370, predominantly in China.

An extension of the ban could see top Kenyan runners miss the London Marathon which is scheduled for April 26.

Russia Athletics Federation (RusAF) is expected to lead the agenda tomorrow, with World Athletics Task Force head Rune Andersen set to provide a report to the World Athletics Council.

The last report of the Task Force in November led to the Council suspending the process of reinstating RusAF, with the potential expulsion body considered following charges against its officials over the obstruction of an investigation.

The system of allowing Russian athletes to compete as Authorised Neutral Athletes was also halted.

The charges led to the resignation of Dmitry Shlyakhtin as RusAF President, with Yevgeny Yurchenko elected as his replacement last month.

Yurchenko last week announced RusAF had "fully acknowledged" the charges made by the AIU regarding the previous leadership.

Yurchenko has expressed hope the acknowledgement could see the threat of expulsion from World Athletics be avoided, as well as potentially seeing the ANA process resumed.