Usain Bolt, Ashton Eaton and Christian Taylor are the three finalists for the IAAF's male athlete of the year award.
Bolt, the six-time Olympic gold medallist from Jamaica, defended his titles in the 100 metres, 200 metres and 4x100 relay at the world championships in Beijing in August. He ran a world-leading time of 19.55 seconds in the 200.
Eaton, the American decathlete, won his second successive gold at the worlds, setting a decathlon world record of 9,045 points and a world decathlon best of 45 seconds for the 400 metres.
Taylor won the triple jump at the worlds with a leap of 18.21 metres, the second-best in history. The American also won the Diamond Race title.
Winners are usually announced at the IAAF's annual awards gala, but the ceremony has been cancelled amid the corruption and doping scandals rocking the sport.