The Latest: 3rd Avalanche player test positive, 8th in NHL
The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:
An eighth NHL player has tested positive for COVID-19.
The league announced Tuesday that a third player from the Colorado Avalanche has the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. The league says the player is in self-isolation and has not had close contact with teammates or Colorado staff members.
The five other NHL players who tested positive all play for the Ottawa Senators. The Avalanche and Senators played games in California in March before the season was paused.
Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle Grady Jarrett is providing about 5,000 meals to first responders in his hometown of Conyers, Georgia, and Atlanta this month.
With the support of the Zaxby’s restaurant chain, Jarrett is providing meals on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday through April at five locations — three fire departments, a sheriff’s office and a police department.
“I feel like it’s the least l can do with them taking the risk going out there every day and being on the front lines and making sure the world is still operating, people are being taken care of,” Jarrett said. “I feel that my family and I feeding them Zaxby’s meals to just make sure that they have something to eat is just a small gesture to show that their work is appreciated.”
Former ice hockey player Roger Chappot, who played more than 100 games for Switzerland’s national team including at the 1964 Winter Olympics, has died due to COVID-19. He was 79.
The International Ice Hockey Federation says Chappot was first treated at a hospital two weeks ago. He returned home before his condition became worse on Apil 1 and he was admitted to an intensive care unit.
The IIHF says Chappot “was a legend in the French-speaking part of Switzerland and one of the best centers in the country in the ’60s.”
He was the Swiss league’s leading scorer in the 1964 season.
The Spanish soccer federation says it will not accept having teams play games less than 72 hours apart when competitions resume following the coronavirus pandemic.
The federation says it opposes an alleged agreement between Spain’s players’ association and the Spanish league to play matches 48 hours apart in order to get the disrupted season completed.
The federation says the players’ health should be above everything else.
The Spanish league and the players’ association say they never had such an agreement. The players’ association also criticized the federation’s stance that player contracts should be extended past the normal expiry date of June 30.
It was the latest spat involving the Spanish league, federation and players’ association, who have often clashed on various soccer issues.
The Canadian Grand Prix has become the latest Formula One race to be postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Montreal-based race was scheduled to take place June 12-14. It is the ninth F1 race to be postponed so far, with the French GP on June 26 now the set to be the opening event of the season.
Race organizers said in a statement that they were “saddened” to postpone the race and that the decision was made in consultation with F1 and officials from the local and federal government.
The announcement came after F1 said it was working with promoters on a revised 2020 schedule that is likely to include 15-18 races.
The Canadian Grand Prix made its debut in 1961 and has been part of the F1 calendar since 1967, except for three separate one-year breaks.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has raised the possibility of not being able to complete the regular season, while stressing all options remain on the table, during an interview on NBCSN.
In saying, “nothing has been ruled in and nothing ruled out,” Bettman noted the league requires a clearer picture on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, which he hopes will happen in the next few weeks.
Bettman said the ideal scenario would be to complete the season to determine playoff seedings in fairness to teams involved in tightly contested races in both conferences. However, he adds: “We understand that may not be possible.”
The live interview broadcast Tuesday marked the first time Bettman has mentioned the possibility of the league not being able to complete the regular season. There were 189 games remaining when play was postponed on March 12.
With the pandemic affecting regions of the continent at different times, Bettman acknowledged the league’s options include the potential of playing games at neutral sites.
Bettman can foresee games being played into the summer. He doesn’t expect the ability to maintain NHL-caliber ice to be an issue because of the league’s modern and air-conditioned facilities.
Former No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki’s farewell to tennis — an exhibition match against good friend Serena Williams — is being postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak.
The last tournament of the 29-year-old Wozniacki’s professional career came in January at the Australian Open. The Dane won her Grand Slam title there in 2018.
She was supposed to face off against 23-time major champion Williams in Copenhagen on May 18 in a match dubbed “The Final One.”
Wozniacki wrote Tuesday on Twitter that their exhibition will be rescheduled because “the safety and health of everyone is most important.”
She added in another post that tickets already purchased “will still be good, once we pick a new date.”
FIFA has recommended that all player contracts be extended until the soccer season is able to finish.
The world governing body also said it will allow upcoming transfer windows to be moved to new dates because of the turmoil caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
FIFA said it hopes the decisions will “bring a measure of stability and clarity” at a time when soccer worldwide is at a near-total shutdown, with no clear timetable for games to resume.
In Europe, most player contracts expire on June 30, but FIFA said they should be “extended until such time that the season does actually end.”
The governing body also said it “will be flexible and will allow the relevant transfer windows to be moved so they fall between the end of the old season and the start of the new season.”
The Canadian Football League is the latest sports league to postpone play because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The CFL, which was scheduled to kick off the regular season on June 11, announced Tuesday that the season won’t start before the beginning of July.
“Like our fellow Canadians, we in the CFL are striving to meet today’s challenges with both pragmatism and hope,” Commissioner Randy Ambrosie said in a statement. “We are pragmatic enough to see our country still has sacrifice and hard work ahead of it.”
The announcement follows comments by Mayor Naheed Nenshi that Calgary’s ban on public events until June 30 includes CFL and NHL games, should those leagues resume before then.
Toronto Mayor John Tory announced last week that Canada’s largest city is canceling events through June 30 that require city permission. That ban did not extend to sporting events, although provincial gathering bans would factor in.
“We respect the decisions being made by the federal government, provinces and municipalities on behalf of our safety and we will continue to follow their directives,” Ambrosie said. “These include indications from Canadian cities that they will not allow sporting events to take place before the end of June.
“While it is now clear that the 2020 CFL season won’t start before the beginning of July, we are committed to working with our teams, the Players’ Association, (The Sports Network and its French-language sister network) to play a full season or as close as we can come to one. We recognize this may require some creativity and we are preparing for multiple scenarios.”
Churchill Downs has delayed reopening stables at the track and training center to April 28 and postponed its spring meet that was scheduled to open April 25.
The track last month postponed the 146th Kentucky Derby from May 2 to Sept. 5, the first time since 1945 the race will not be run on the first Saturday in May.
Churchill Downs’ stables have been closed since Dec. 31 for winter renovations and were originally scheduled to open March 17 before being delayed in response to executive orders from Gov. Andy Beshear to contain and limit the spread of COVID-19.
Track president Kevin Flanery said in a statement that Churchill Downs is following the lead of the governor and public health officials and added, “Our team will be ready to open under the relevant guidance we are given when the time is right.”
Two of the biggest meetings in the British horse racing calendar have been postponed amid the coronavirus outbreak, despite previous hopes that the sport could return by the start of May.
The Jockey Club says the Guineas Festival at Newmarket on May 2-3 and the English Derby Festival at Epsom on June 5-6 will not be staged on those dates.
Organizers are looking at alternative dates for the meetings “given the importance of (them) to the careers of that generation of horses, and the racing and bloodstock industries as a whole.”
The Derby is the most prestigious flat race in Britain, while the 1,000 and 2,000 Guineas take place at the Newmarket meeting in early May.
The Jockey Club said a decision needed to be made on postponing the meetings as trainers wanted to know whether to step up preparations for the races.
Racing has officially been suspended until the end of April, and the British Horseracing Authority was hoping for a resumption on May 1.
The Italian and Catalan MotoGP races have been postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak.
The motorcycling series has yet to start its season. Eight MotoGP races have now been called off because of the virus.
The Italian Grand Prix was scheduled for May 31 at the Mugello Circuit and would have been followed the next weekend by the race at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona.
Organizers say new dates for those races “cannot be confirmed until it becomes clearer when exactly it will be possible to hold the events.”
The president of the Spanish soccer league says he is not contemplating returning to action before the end of May.
The country is expected to remain under lockdown until April 26.
Javier Tebas says other scenarios are also being studied. They include having the European competitions restarting only by the end of June and not conflicting with the domestic leagues.
Tebas says it is very likely the league will restart with games in empty stadiums and that matches in venues with reduced capacity will also eventually be an option.
The league president says it has been “impossible” to reach a deal with players on the salary reductions needed to reduce the financial impact of the crisis but he expects the majority of the clubs to reach agreements with players.
South Korea’s professional baseball league says it hopes to start practice games between teams on April 21 before possibly opening the season in early May.
The Korea Baseball Organization says the plans are contingent on the country’s coronavirus caseload continuing to slow.
The KBO will advise players to wear face masks in locker rooms and require them to download smartphone apps to report their daily health status to league officials.
South Korea reported 47 new cases for the second consecutive day as infections continued to wane in the worst-hit city of Daegu. Those are the smallest daily jumps since Feb. 20. The country was reporting about 500 new cases per day in early March.
But there’s still concern over infections linked to passengers arriving from overseas.
The KBO announced last month that it was postponing the start of its season but that it still hoped to maintain a 144-game regular-season schedule. It then said it could ban spectators from games when infection risks were high.