The International Canoe Federation could be forced into a decision over whether the 2013 ICF Canoe Slalom World Championship should go ahead as planned in Prague in the Czech Republic after the local organising committee expressed serious concerns over whether the venue will be able to stage the event because of severe damage caused by flooding in the region.
The championship is due to start on September 11, but rising water has swept through the slalom course and nearby facilities.
Jiri Rohan, director of the Prague 2013 local organising committee, said: "We've had to move all of the equipment from the basement of the boathouse to the second floor. The whole slalom course is submerged under flood water.
"There is damage to the tribunes, poles, ropes, gates and of both bridges above the channel. Now, all is about how high the water will rise. In the boathouse, the basement is already under the water. We all hope that the water will not climb up to the first floor."
Rohan admitted the prognosis was "very bad," adding: "We wait until the Vltava cascade is open and then we will see how much it will rise. I think it won't reach the same levels as 2002 [when the Vltava river burst its banks] but unfortunately it will be very similar to it. The crucial factor is if the rain stops."
The slalom course had only just reopened, following reconstruction of the bottom set of gates in November 2012. The next stage of reconstruction works was planned to start now, but is on hold until the conditions change.
Rohan continued: "We want to fight for the championships but we also will have to decide very fast [what to do]. We will do all we can to organise the championships. We will start to clean the grounds and the channel as soon as possible and we will ask for the financial subsidy. However, we cannot affect the speed of how the walls and floors of the boathouse will dry."
As a precaution, Prague's metro system and central sewage treatment plant have been closed, metal flood defences erected and sandbags built up along the banks of the Vltava.