Italy's Tesio Giorgia in action during the 2020 IFSC World Cup in Briançon ©IFSC

The International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) has agreed to take the "painful decision" to cancel World Cup events in South Korea and the United States.

The two competitions were set to be part of the 2020 bouldering season with Seoul scheduled to host from May 8 to 10 and Salt Lake City from June 12 to 14.

Both cities were also expected to host a speed event as the sport prepares to make its debut at next year's Olympic Games in Tokyo.

But in accordance with USA Climbing and the Korean Alpine Federation, the IFSC has decided to call off the events due to the COVID-19 pandemic after they were initially postponed.

A statement from the IFSC read: "The IFSC would like to thank the two organisations for their cooperation and the countless efforts they made in the last few months.

"Unfortunately, the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, along with the travelling restrictions that derive from it and the safety measures that are currently in place in many countries all over the world, forced the IFSC, USA Climbing and the Korean Alpine Federation to take another painful decision."

Top-level climbing returned with a World Cup in Briançon in France last month.