The European Athletics Championships in Paris have been cancelled because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic ©European Athletics

The European Athletics Championships, due to take place in Paris in August, have been cancelled because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

European Athletics Interim President Dobromir Karamarinov said the decision was taken "with great regret."

The Championships were due to take place at Charlety Stadium in Paris from August 25 to 30, but were cancelled today following an extraordinary meeting of the Paris 2020 Organising Committee and the French Athletics Federation.

An earlier meeting involving French authorities, European Athletics and the Paris 2020 Organising Committee evaluated all possible options for holding the Championships this year on the scheduled dates.

The decision to cancel was driven by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, which had led to the current ban on mass gatherings in France.

"It is with great regret that we announce the cancellation of the Paris 2020 European Athletics Championships," Karamarinov said.

"We had hoped in these troubled times to offer European athletes a major event to aim for at the end of this summer. 

"Unfortunately, today we were informed by the Organising Committee and French Athletics Federation that, after discussions with the relevant French national and local public health and safety authorities, they were no longer able to proceed with delivering the Championships this August and were forced to cancel the event.

"Whilst we regret announcing the cancellation of our European Athletics Championships, it is worth reiterating that in these unprecedented times the health and safety of all athletics’ stakeholders including athletes, fans, officials, partners and everyone connected with the sport is paramount. 

"We will always do what is best for the members of our athletics family and the wider public."