The season-opening Junior Speed Skating World Cup competition has been cancelled ©Getty Images

The International Skating Union (ISU) has confirmed the cancellation of the Junior Speed Skating World Cup competition in Minsk.

The event had been scheduled to take place in Belarus’ capital city from November 28 to 29.

The ISU said the decision relates to the cancellation of speed skating and short track World Cup competitions announced earlier this month, leading to the governing body concluding the Minsk event could not take place as planned.

Speed skating contests in Tomaszów Mazowiecki in Poland, Stavanger in Norway, Calgary in Canada and Salt Lake City in the United States were called off earlier this month.

They were scheduled between November 13 and December 13.

November's Short Track World Cup contests in Laval and Montreal in Canada have also been cancelled.

Competition had been set to take place in the Minsk Arena ©Getty Images
Competition had been set to take place in the Minsk Arena ©Getty Images

The ISU Council said it had made these decisions after receiving a report from a working group tasked with looking into the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic on the sport.

Minsk had been due to open the three-event ISU Junior Speed Skating World Cup series.

The capital city has recently been the centre of protests in Belarus against the country’s President Alexander Lukashenko.

The protest began after the August 9 election, where Lukashenko, who has ruled the country since 1994, supposedly won with 80 per cent of the vote.

The European Union is among those to have condemned the election, stating it was "neither free nor fair".

There have been violent scenes and clashes between demonstrators and police in the Belarusian capital over the past month.

The protests were not cited by the ISU as a reason for the cancellation of the World Cup event.

The next Junior Speed Skating World Cup series event is due to take place at Collalbo in Italy from January 16 to 17, followed by Hachinohe in Japan staging competition from February 13 to 14.

Hachinohe is also set to host the World Junior Championships from February 19 to 21.