UKAD and USADA both revealed they are reducing their testing programme ©Getty Images

UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) and the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) have both revealed they are reducing their testing programmes due to the coronavirus crisis.

USADA have announced they will only focus on athletes who are still competing and those who are preparing for Tokyo 2020. 

"We are equally committed to protecting the health and wellbeing of athletes and sample collection personnel," a USADA statement said.

"We understand we are operating in an uncertain time, and our experts are closely following the advice and best practices of national and local health authorities.

"In line with these interests, we are taking a rational and adaptable approach to ensure the continuation of our essential mission in a safe and healthy way. 

"Effective immediately, USADA will focus only on mission-critical testing of athletes in sports still competing, and as absolutely needed for those preparing for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games to ensure their rights are upheld and their reputations protected."

USADA also revealed a number of safety protocols, with doping control officers expected to wear protective gear and stay six feet away from the athlete when possible. 

UKAD chief executive Nicole Sapstead revealed there would be a
UKAD chief executive Nicole Sapstead revealed there would be a "significant reduction" in the UKAD testing programme ©Getty Images

UKAD announced similar safety measures, alongside a "significant reduction in our testing programme."

"We are acutely aware of the effect that the coronavirus is having on society, sport and the wider sporting community, both here in the UK and globally," said UKAD chief executive Nicole Sapstead.

"With the cancellation of sporting events and recent UK Government advice concerning the control of the virus, we have reviewed our operational activity and are announcing a significant reduction in our testing programme. 

"This is a difficult decision and one that has not been taken lightly. 

"Our priority is the health and welfare of athletes, and our own staff and doping control officers.

"As an organisation our ongoing responsibility remains to protect clean sport, but we must give precedence to health and welfare and act responsibly in line with Government advice during this unprecedented time."

Coronavirus cases in the US and UK are currently rising ©Getty Images
Coronavirus cases in the US and UK are currently rising ©Getty Images

Athletes who are required to submit whereabouts must continue to do so, while the UKAD athlete education programme is set to continue online. 

British athletes who are overseas are advised to continue the doping control process in that country and record any concerns on the doping control form.

Coronavirus cases are rising in both the United Kingdom and United States, with 1,950 people infected and 71 deaths in the former. 

The US currently has more than 6,500 cases and 113 deaths. 

Residents of both countries have been advised to avoid non-essential contact in a bid to contain the virus. 

The Chinese Anti-Doping Agency suspended its testing programme on February 3 in response to the outbreak of coronavirus, but has now resumed on a "phased basis". 

Earlier this month, the World Anti-Doping Agency said it will closely monitor testing activity in regions affected by the virus to detect any possible "gaps" that may need to be addressed.

More than 200,000 cases of coronavirus have been reported globally, with more than 8,000 deaths.