Ironman athletes will not have registration fee refunded if Covid-19 outbreak sees events cancelled

Athletes who have registered for Ironman triathlons will not have their registration fee refunded if the Covid-19 emergency sees events postponed or cancelled.

Ironman athletes will not have registration fee refunded if Covid-19 outbreak sees events cancelled

Athletes who have registered for Ironman triathlons will not have their registration fee refunded if the Covid-19 emergency sees events postponed or cancelled.

Ironman Ireland (Cork) 2020 is currently scheduled to take place in Youghal on June 21.

The future of the event remains unclear amid the current coronavirus outbreak which has led to the cancellation of most sporting events.

It is the second time the event has been scheduled for Cork. Last year's edition was blighted by poor weather, resulting in the cancellation of the swimming section.

In a letter on the Ironman website, President and CEO of the Ironman group Andrew Messick acknowledged there will be “substantial and widespread event postponements” in the coming months, but said athletes who have registered for postponed or cancelled races will be appropriated to a rescheduled or alternative race.

The current registration fee for an Ironman event is about $700 (€637). Registrations are being taken online for triathlons from April 19 onwards.

Mr Messick said the group’s policy is to be guided by public health agencies, government authorities, and the Ironman global medical advisory board, when forming a decision to “proceed, restrict, modify or postpone an event”.

Athletes registered for an event which is postponed due to the virus will be "automatically transferred to the rescheduled date".

If the new date is not suitable, they will be allowed to defer to the same event the following year.

If events are cancelled rather than postponed, athletes will be “deferred to the same race in 2021”.

Other options are also being considered “to allow displaced athletes to race in 2020”, with arrangements to be announced.

Efforts are also being made to find alternative races for athletes in designated quarantine or restricted territories who have registered for races prior to June 1 and still not postponed or cancelled.

Those who are unwell or may have been exposed to the virus are advised to seek medical care before any attempt to find “an alternative solution".

Social distancing is being introduced at the events, including extended on-site registration hours.

However the decision to withhold refunds has drawn criticism from some athletes, who argue they may not be able to compete at alternative times.

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