The International Skating Union has established a working group to deal with COVID-19 ©ISU

The International Skating Union (ISU) has created a working group for its major figure skating events in response to the coronavirus crisis.

The panel, chaired by ISU vice-president for figure skating Alexander Lakernik, will have seven main responsibilities.

Among its key tasks will be evaluating the financial impact of the cancellation and postponement of figure skating events on the worldwide governing body.

The working group will assess whether it will be possible to hold figure skating competitions behind closed doors. 

It will also be tasked with assessing the postponement and cancellation of events and evaluating solutions if numerous competitions are called off within the same series.

The figure skating working group will have seven main responsibilities ©Getty Images
The figure skating working group will have seven main responsibilities ©Getty Images

This year's World Figure Skating Championships in Montreal, arguably the highest-profile event in winter sport, have already been cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The panel will be expected to submit proposals to the ISU Council for decisions, the organisation said in a statement.

A similar working group is set to be established for speed skating events governed by the ISU.

The ISU Council has also decided to implement deadlines for cancellations of major figure skating competitions, including Grand Prix events.

The ISU said the latest the opening Grand Prix event - Skate America in October - can be cancelled is August 1, 12 weeks before the competition is due to start.

This 12-week timeframe will apply for other stops on the Grand Prix circuit.