Athletics Australia has withdrawn its team from the 2021 World Athletics Relays in Poland in May because of coronavirus concerns.
The decision to pull out of the event, due to be staged in Silesia from May 1 to 2, was made in light of the COVID-19 situation in Poland and greater Europe, Athletics Australia said.
Athletics Australia chief executive Darren Gocher said that while the withdrawal is disappointing for athletes, a thorough process had been undertaken to consider all associated risks with travelling to Poland and the quarantine requirements on their return to Australia.
"It is always disappointing to withdraw a team from a major event however we believe the decision is in the best interest of the health and safety of our athletes, staff and coaches," Gocher said.
"We acknowledge the work World Athletics is doing in attempting to hold a safe event ahead of the Tokyo Olympics, however after seeking the advice of medical professionals and considering health risks, current Government advice and the need to quarantine upon return to Australia, it was decided it is not viable or safe to travel to Poland for this event."
In lieu of the World Athletics Relay Championships, Athletics Australia plans to host relay events in June with the support of Oceania Athletics so that its relay teams can seek the qualifying standards needed to compete at the Tokyo Olympic Games, scheduled for this July.
Last month the staging of the European Athletics Indoor Championships in Torun, Poland resulted in a number of athletes testing positive for COVID-19 during and after the event.
The Irish and British teams had to self-isolate upon their return because of positive cases in their travelling parties.
A total of 10 members of the British athletics team tested positive for COVID-19 after returning from the Polish city, and British Athletics wrote to European Athletics to express its concerns over the implementation of the COVID-19 counter-measures at the event.