Ashgabat refuses to host the 2021 UCI Track Cycling World Championships because of COVID-19 pandemic

The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) announced on its website on 3 June, 2021 that the Track Cycling World Championships were moved from Turkmenistan to another location.

It is reported that the 2021 UCI Track Cycling World Championships, which were to take place from 13 to 17 October in Ashgabat (Turkmenistan), have been cancelled in their initial format, at the request of their organisers, as the health constraints and restrictions linked to the Covid-19 pandemic make it impossible to stage the event in the country.

The UCI is currently in contact with several potential alternative organisers with a view to moving the event to another venue on the same dates.

According to the news outlet Cycling News, UCI announced that the tournament was set to be moved to Glasgow, Scotland in a post on Twitter but then deleted the message.

The relocation will be the second major shift after the European Track Championships in Belarus were cancelled after the country’s government ordered the forced landing of a Ryanair flight to Lithuania in Minsk in order to detail an opposition journalist.

On 2 June, 2020, “in recognition of invaluable contribution and a large-scale campaign undertaken by the President to promote cycling in Turkmenistan and bring it to an international level” President of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) David Lappartient awarded Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov the UCI order, presented to the most distinguished individuals in an online ceremony (no one has earned this award since 2007).

On 3 June, 2019 on behalf of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) David Lappartient awarded the President the Certificate of Recognition.

The Championships were scheduled to be held from 13 to 19 October, 2021. Preparations to the sports events were discussed on 9 March by Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov and Igor Makarov, the Chairperson of ARETI holding and a member of the UCI steering committee.

On 9 February, 2021 Turkmenistan’s Ministry of Sports and Youth Policy announced a tender to set up a website for the Track Cycling World Championship and on 21 April a tender for the interior design of the sports venue.

On 20 January the head of state visited the Olympic village where he familiarized himself with preparations to upcoming international tournaments.Gurbanguly Berdymukahmmedov said at the time that athletes will be vaccinated with a vaccine of their choice.The post Ashgabat refuses to host the 2021 UCI Track Cycling World Championships because of COVID-19 pandemic first appeared on Chronicles of Turkmenistan.

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