The decision to cancel the event – scheduled to run from 6 to 8 March – comes as a result of new Government precautionary measures aimed at stopping the spread of coronavirus have been scaled up.

According to statement issued by the IJF statement, it was “cancelled upon decision of the Moroccan Government”

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“All international sports competitions, exhibitions and public gatherings have also been cancelled or postponed in the country.

“We apologize for the unexpected occurrence of the event and we do understand the inconvenience for all stakeholders, especially for our athletes and delegations.

“The IJF is currently searching for the appropriate solutions for this unexpected situation and all its consequences across all levels.”

It was expected that Frenchman Teddy Riner would return to action for the first time since suffering a shock defeat at the Paris Grand Slam last month, his first in almost a decade in any competition.

As a result of the cancellation, the IJF has said that registration for the Ekaterinburg Grand Slam – which is set to start a week later on 13 March – has been reopened as “a first emergency measure”.

Morocco confirmed its first case of the virus – named COVID-19 by the World Health Organization – a few days ago with the patient being someone who had been living in Italy.

The outbreak is disrupting many sports’ preparations for Tokyo 2020, with qualifying events among those postponed or cancelled. Chinese judoka were unable to take part in the Paris Grand Slam because the French embassy in China was shut as a result of the outbreak.

IJF President Marius Vizer has previously said the IJF will attempt to secure an increase in quota places to ensure athletes having difficulty competing in pre-Olympic events don’t miss out on an opportunity of competing at Tokyo 2020 as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

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