New York, NY (Sports Network) - The New York City marathon scheduled for Sunday has been canceled as the city still struggles to recover from the effects of Hurricane Sandy.
It was a joint decision between the city government and race organizers to cancel the event, and no determination has yet to be made on whether or not to reschedule the race.
New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg and New York Road Runners CEO Mary Wittenberg released a statement in regards to the cancellation:
"The Marathon has been an integral part of New York City's life for 40 years and is an event tens of thousands of New Yorkers participate in and millions more watch. While holding the race would not require diverting resources from the recovery effort, it is clear that it has become the source of controversy and division. The marathon has always brought our city together and inspired us with stories of courage and determination. We would not want a cloud to hang over the race or its participants, and so we have decided to cancel it. We cannot allow a controversy over an athletic event -- even one as meaningful as this -- to distract attention away from all the critically important work that is being done to recover from the storm and get our city back on track."
Earlier in the day, Bloomberg defended his decision to hold the annual race, a decision which generated a lot of scrutiny since the marathon route would go through several areas of the city that were devastated by the storm.
Also, with many people still without power and needing manpower to restore crucial services, tying up resources that would be needed for the race instead of being used in recovery efforts was perceived by many to be an insult and waste of effort.
One sports event in the city -- Thursday's NBA opener between the Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks at the Barclays Center -- had already been postponed due to the storm.
As of Friday, the NFL was still planning to hold Sunday's game between the New York Giants and Pittsburgh Steelers in nearby East Rutherford, NJ.