England Athletics has dismissed a claim that new coronavirus rules will let men run in 5,000m events – but not women.
A report suggested only men would be allowed to resume the event initially because the women’s race generally takes longer than 15 minutes.
People together for 15 minutes at less than 2m (6ft) are in ‘close contact’ in the UK government’s tracing system.
England Athletics said it is not planning to “differentiate” guidance for male and female athletes.
The current guidance does not yet allow men or women to take part in 5,000m events.
At present, no track events of more than 1500m are allowed, because social distancing cannot be guaranteed in longer races from 3,000m upwards.
The 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m events must all follow strict social distancing measures, including athletes using alternate lanes.
In the 1500m, runners of a similar ability can compete using 200m intervals.
Great Britain athlete Jess Judd was among those to speak out after it was reported England Athletics planned to allow only men to run 5,000m events because those events are generally under 15 minutes.
The Olympic qualifying standards for the women’s 5,000m is 15 minutes and 10 seconds.
“England Athletics has not released – and is not planning on releasing – any Covid-19 guidance differentiating track and field activity and distance between male and female athletes,” said Martin Rush, England Athletics’ head of coaching and athlete development.
“Our guidance at this point in time states that 800m racing can take place with certain rules in place, and a varied form of competition is available for 1500m racing – although not in a regular form.
“There are some limitations as to what events can be organised within the guidance from government and EA is working on an update for the middle distance events and will be releasing that shortly.”