Triathlete Jake Birtwhistle has become the latest Tasmanian Olympic hopeful to have their competition schedule thrown into disarray by the coronavirus.
The Launceston 25-year-old was due to begin his World Triathlon Series campaign in Abu Dhabi this weekend but the International Triathlon Union chose to postpone the race following reported cases of the virus in Yas Island.
Birtwhistle, who had been training in Spain's Canary Islands, expressed his reaction on Instagram.
"Sadly the WTS event in Abu Dhabi was postponed due to coronavirus fears," he said. "I don't know what my first race for 2020 will be now so it's back to the training grind for a while until we decide."
The WTS said the decision was taken because "safety of all the athletes, coaches and officials participating in the event is the main concern".
Around 300 elite athletes and more than 2500 age group athletes were due to take part and organisers are looking at possible dates for relocating the event later on in March or April.
The decision came in the same week that Campbell Town's Will Clarke was among those affected when suspected cases of coronavirus prompted the UCI to cancel the UAE Tour which was due to finish in Abu Dhabi.
The next round of the WTS is scheduled for April 18 in Bermuda.
Concerns over the impact of the outbreak on this year's Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo are set to headline the International Olympic Committee executive board meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland, this week.