AIGLE, Switzerland (AP) — The track cycling world championships have been pulled out of Turkmenistan because of the coronavirus pandemic, the International Cycling Union said.

The UCI said in a statement late Thursday that the championships “have been canceled in their initial format, at the request of their organizers, as the health constraints and restrictions linked to the COVID-19 pandemic make it impossible to stage the event in the country.”

The championships had been set for Oct. 13-17, more than two months after the track cycling competitions at the Tokyo Olympics.

The UCI said it was in talks with “several” potential hosts to replace the Central Asian nation.

Turkmenistan’s authoritarian president, Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, often promotes cycling and other sports. He received an award from the UCI last year.

Turkmenistan has not officially confirmed any cases of coronavirus infections in the country.

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