Yuzuru Hanyu has won the Grand Prix Final on four occasions, but last did so in 2016 ©Getty Images

Two-time Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu is to skip the International Skating Union (ISU) Grand Prix of Figure Skating season over coronavirus concerns.

Hanyu, who has won the Grand Prix Final on four occasions and picked up a silver medal in Turin last season, cited his asthma as a the reason for opting out.

"As people with respiratory problems are at greater risk of becoming severely ill, I want to be as careful as possible," Japan's Hanyu said in a statement translated by new agency Kyodo.

"By exercising self-restraint, I can also contribute to the effort to stop the spread of infection."

The Grand Prix of Figure Skating campaign is to be very different in 2020, with athletes set to be limited to entering just one of the six legs of the tour rather than the usual two.

Events are set to be largely domestic, with only competitors and officials from the host country, competitors who regularly train in the host country and competitors from other ISU member nations that are not hosting an event but are nearby and free from travel restrictions to take part.

Yuzuru Hanyu has won two Olympic titles  ©Getty Images
Yuzuru Hanyu has won two Olympic titles  ©Getty Images

Canada, China, France, Japan, Russia and the United States are scheduled to host events.

As Hanyu's coach, Brian Orser, is Canadian, he would have had to choose between the Japanese and Canadian events were he to compete.

Beijing is then set to stage the Grand Prix Final, which will also serve as a test event for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics.

One of the sport's biggest stars, Hanyu won the Olympic men's singles title at Sochi 2014 and Pyeongchang 2018.

The 25-year-old is also a two-time world champion and won the Grand Prix Final four years in a row, from 2013 to 2016.

Earlier this year he triumphed at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships to become the first man to complete a "super slam" of figure skating's major prizes.