SARS claims latest victim in Switzerland

AIGLE (Switzerland): Cycling's world track championships, scheduled to take place in China this summer, became the latest victim of the SARS epidemic.  

The championships have been postponed and will be moved to a new venue, German news agency SID reported on Friday. 

The July 30-Aug 3 event had been due to be held in Shenzen, the southern China city at the centre of the epidemic. 

A new home for the championships will be chosen next week, with among the list of possible candidates Berlin, Stuttgart, Vienna, Manchester, Moscow, Mexico and Sydney. 

The report from SID cited sources close to cycling's governing body, the International Cycling Union (UCI). 

An official UCI announcement is expected later. 

The decision comes just days after Australia, Germany and France all announced they would not be sending teams to the championships, increasing pressure on organisers to abort. 

The track championships are the latest in a list of high profile sporting events to be either moved or cancelled because of the virus. 

On Thursday, the slalom World Cup canoe meet, scheduled for May 16-18 in Guangzhou also in Guangdong province, was called off while the world badminton championships slated for May 12-18 in Birmingham, has also been postponed. – AFP  

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