European Athletics Interim President Dobromir Karamarinov launched a policy paper to help the sport through COVID-19 ©European Athletics

European Athletics Interim President Dobromir Karamarinov launched a policy paper to help the sport through the COVID-19 pandemic.

The "Leading European Athletics Forward in Challenging Times" policy paper was launched at the European Athletics e-Convention, which concludes today. 

Karamarinov set out his vision for the short and medium term measures required as athletics responds to the global health crisis. 

The paper focuses on the need to protect 2021 European Athletics events, support Member Federations, build on the core strength of European Athletics, and lead recovery through innovation.

"We know that our sport, like all sports, has been impacted by this terrible virus but it is possible to return to live competitions in a controlled way," Karamarinov said.

"My main goal is to ensure the delivery of European elite-level events and championships in 2021.

"We have had detailed discussions with the European Athletics Medical and Anti-Doping Commission on the topic of coronavirus and how to return to events safely, and specifically in reference to the European Athletics Indoor Championships where earlier this week the Executive Board approved our COVID-19 sanitary plan for Torun 2021.

"To protect our events we must work closely with our own COVID-19 taskforce and also the 2021 Local Organising Committees, be led by the science and review the unique measures specifically suitable for athletics events by working closely with World Athletics.

"From the various discussions I have had with Member Federations, I know many are experiencing difficulties – including financial, during this period. 

"However, I want to make it clear that we at European Athletics will continue to support them in any way we can and we have increased funding for our Member Federation support programmes."

Karamarinov also discussed the need to innovate to help athletics recover from the impact of the pandemic.

"As we begin to plan for the future, it is important to remember how strong our core product is," he said. 

"Despite the challenges we have faced this year, European Athletics remains one of the strongest continental federations in world sport.

"My aim in the medium term is to have a stronger athletics landscape in Europe. 

"This does not mean creating new or hybrid events or disciplines - it is more about finding innovative ways that European Athletics can help lead our Member Federations towards recovery.

"I am also keen to explore how innovation can help the European Athletics brand to continue its progress and increase the popularity of the sport.

"We are not afraid to try fresh approaches to attract new audiences to our sport, here I think of Dynamic New Athletics (DNA) as a good example."

This year's Convention was due to take place in the Estonian capital of Tallinn but is instead being held virtually.

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe delivered a keynote speech on the topic of modernisation at the beginning of the event.