Beijing 2022 is due to hold a series of test events during the 2020-2021 winter season ©Getty Images

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) Coordination Commission for Beijing 2022 has expressed concern over the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on test events for the Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Beijing 2022 test events in speed skating, figure skating, ski jumping, Nordic combined and Alpine skiing are due to be held during the 2020-2021 winter season, but the COVID-19 crisis has put these vital competitions in considerable jeopardy.

In his report to the IOC Session earlier this month, Coordination Commission chairman Juan Antonio Samaranch highlighted how measures imposed in China and other nations to curb the spread of coronavirus could create issues for the Organising Committee when it comes to holding test events.

"COVID-19 impacts related to travel restrictions, visa requirements and quarantine measures could pose challenges for international experts, officials and athletes to travel to China for the 2020/2021 winter test event season," Samaranch wrote in the report.

"Beijing 2022 has committed to working closely with the IOC, International Paralympic Committee and International Federations to have the best possible chance of delivering test events this coming season."

Test events for the 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics are exempt from a ban on international competitions taking place in the country for the rest of the year, imposed by the Chinese Government in response to fears over a second wave of the virus hitting the nation.

Juan Antonio Samaranch chairs the IOC Coordination Commission for Beijing 2022 ©Getty Images
Juan Antonio Samaranch chairs the IOC Coordination Commission for Beijing 2022 ©Getty Images

Beijing 2022 also admitted the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics to 2021 will "result in some obstacles".

According to the IOC Coordination Commission report, Beijing organisers "indicated that some areas would require closer attention" following the one-year delay to Tokyo 2020, including the impact on the start date for the Torch Relay, the launch of the official song and the Chef de Mission seminar.

Concerns around the availability of specialised staff and equipment from Olympic Broadcasting Services and TOP Partners coming from the Tokyo Games, and their ability to provide services in a timely manner without impacting Beijing 2022 operations, have also been raised by the Organising Committee.

The IOC has previously claimed, however, that the close proximity of the two events - the rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Olympics are set to conclude less than six months before the Beijing 2022 Opening Ceremony - can provide opportunities for organisers of the Winter Games.

Beijing 2022 has also been praised for staying on track with its preparations for the Games despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The Beijing 2022 Organising Committee has maintained excellent momentum in all elements of planning and preparation, despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, with venue construction on schedule and key milestones being met," the Coordination Commission report stated.