The bidding process for the 2023 World Cross Country Championships has been delayed ©Getty Images

World Athletics has postponed the bidding process for two major events in 2023 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The process for both the 2023 World Athletics Cross Country Championships and the 2023 World Athletics Relays will now open in November 2020, the governing body said.

Events beyond 2023 will not be affected with the bidding process remaining unchanged.

COVID-19 has already had a major impact on track and field, with the 2021 World Athletics Championships in Oregon pushed back to 2022.

This was a direct consequence of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games being moved to 2021, which has caused congestion in the sporting calendar.

The World Athletics Indoor Championships in Chinese city Nanjing this year was one of the first major sporting events to be postponed due to COVID-19.

Bidding for the 2023 World Relays has also been postponed ©Getty Images
Bidding for the 2023 World Relays has also been postponed ©Getty Images

It was set to take place between March 13 and 15 but will now also be held next year.

Yesterday, World Athletics announced that it had frozen its Olympic qualifying window in response to the coronavirus pandemic, while half of the staff at its headquarters in Monaco were placed on leave.

Staff on furlough will continue to receive full wages, the governing body insists, with it paying the remaining 30 per cent of gross salaries after the Monaco Government pays 70 per cent. 

The Olympic qualifying window has been suspended until the start of December, meaning any results achieved between now and then will not count towards either Tokyo 2020 places or world rankings.