The ITA has announced that it has had to temporarily postpone a number of test missions due to the coronavirus pandemic ©ITA

The International Testing Agency (ITA) has announced that it has had to temporarily postpone a number of test missions due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The organisation has also confirmed its headquarters in Lausanne is currently not accessible to visitors.

Coronavirus has had a considerable impact on the sporting calendar, with numerous events either being postponed or cancelled.

The ITA says this situation is impacting anti-doping activities.

"With regard to international testing matters and the current state of anti-doping efforts by the ITA across the world, the absolute priority continues to be the protection of the health of all athletes and doping control personnel," a statement from the organisation reads.

"The ITA is, however, working hard with all partners to maintain wherever possible the integrity and continuity of our existing anti-doping programmes.

"In several countries heavily affected by COVID-19, Governments have forbidden all non-essential activities to limit physical contacts between people.

"In these regions, maintaining anti-doping testing at all cost without due care to the health of athletes and doping control personnel would be both against the law and irresponsible.

"The ITA has, therefore, had to temporarily postpone a number of test missions and continues to monitor the situation carefully country by country to ensure that the right balance is struck between public health first and anti-doping efforts second.

"Please note that any test mission on a particular athlete that cannot be conducted at this point in time by the ITA is rescheduled to the next earliest available opportunity."

The Swiss Federal Government has declared that an "extraordinary situation" exists in Switzerland, where the ITA is based, and has tightened existing measures and enacted new ones in order to curb the spread of coronavirus.

"As a result, the ITA HQ is currently not accessible to visitors," the statement reads.

"However, all necessary sanitary and security measures have been implemented to protect the health of ITA employees whilst ensuring full business continuity through remote work and other measures.

"In addition, restricted on-site presence is maintained to guarantee essential functions in full compliance with Governmental directives.

"Please note that all athletes included in testing pools may still be tested at any time and must continue to upload their whereabouts information as per the World Anti-Doping Code and their applicable International Federations' regulations."

The ITA says it is also maintaining its work for the Tokyo 2020 Pre-Games Expert Group, which aims at detecting and closing testing gaps around the world in the lead-up to this year's Olympic Games.

"Current testing limitations and challenges will be duly taken into account by the Expert Group," the statement adds.

Elsewhere, the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES) has announced it will significantly reduce testing operations to protect the health and well-being of athletes and personnel collecting samples.

This is in light of the latest national and regional Government directives and measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

"In keeping with global practices during this time, the CCES retains the right to test athletes at any time and we will maintain our readiness to test based on our ongoing intelligence assessments," a statement from the organisation reads.

"Registered Testing Pool athletes are required to maintain up-to-date whereabouts information to reflect changes to training and competition schedules.

"The CCES athlete services and education support remain available to help athletes and support personnel navigate medication inquiries, medical exemptions and online learning requirements."