Edwin Moses Chairman of the Laureus World Sports Academy has announced the following:
This year's Laureus Awards ceremony is being scrapped because of the global economic crisis, organisers said shortly after announcing Usain Bolt and Michael Phelps were among the nominees for the top men's prize.
The lavish, televised ceremony was held in Monaco from 2000 to 2003, moved to Lisbon in 2004, Barcelona from 2005 to 2007 and St Petersburg, Russia, last year.
"Laureus and its partners have made the decision that due to the current economic situation it would be inappropriate to stage a full-scale Laureus World Sports Awards ceremony at this time," Laureus said.
The winners will receive their awards individually at presentations in May and June, Laureus said.
"This has been a difficult decision, but we are aware of the global problems caused by the current economic difficulties," Laureus World Sports Academy chairman Edwin Moses said.
"It seemed to us, with so many people suffering, that this was the wrong time to be staging this event. This is the responsible thing to do and we are sure everyone will understand why we are doing this."
Moses also said the economic situation will be monitored over the next months and that organisers would announce "in due course the arrangements for the next Laureus World Sports Awards".
Tennis stars nominated include Rafael Nadal for Sportsman of the Year and Venus Williams for Sportswoman of the Year and both Novak Djokovic and Ana Ivanovic for Breakthrough of the Year.