Coronavirus: Here's what's happening in the sports world on Thursday

Stay up to date on the latest on how the coronavirus outbreak is affecting sports around the globe.

Canadian Open golf cancelled; U.S. Open tennis to make decision on status in June

(Illustration by Steve Tzemis/CBC)

The latest on how the coronavirus outbreak is affecting sports around the globe:

ISU cancels short track, figure skating championship

The International Skating Union has formally cancelled its figure skating and short track world championships because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The ISU made the decision after an online meeting of its governing council.

The World Short Track Speed Skating Championships were initially set for March 13-15 in Seoul, South Korea, while the World Figure Skating Championships were supposed to be held in Montreal from March 16-22. Both events had already been postponed in the early days of the worldwide lockdown caused by the pandemic. Now, it's official — they won't be held at all.

This will be the first year without the figure skating worlds since 1946, the last of a seven-year layoff because of World War II. Since the event's founding in 1896, the only other cancellations occurred from 1915-21 because of World War I and its aftermath.

The World Synchronized Skating Championships in Lake Placid, New York have been formally cancelled as well. That event was originally set for April 3-5.

The ISU plans another online meeting April 28 to discuss scheduling possibilities for the 2020-21 skating season.

U.S. Open decision expected in June

The new CEO of the U.S. Tennis Association says he expects a decision on the status of the 2020 U.S. Open to be made by June and calls the prospect of holding the Grand Slam tournament without spectators because of the coranivirus pandemic "highly unlikely."

Mike Dowse, whose term began on Jan. 1, said in a conference call with reporters Thursday that "time is on our side at this point" because the U.S. Open is not scheduled to begin until late August.

Canadian Open golf cancelled

The Canadian Open golf tournament has been cancelled because of the to the coronavirus pandemic.

The event was scheduled for June 8-14 at St. George's Golf and Country Club in Toronto.

The Canadian Open is the third oldest event on the PGA Tour schedule behind the British Open and the U.S. Open.

World Rugby announces $100 million US relief fund

World Rugby will make almost $100 million US available to help nations through the COVID-19 pandemic which it calls an unprecedented threat to the global game.

Most major unions have already been forced to cut players' salaries and slash administrative costs as the virus outbreak has forced professional competitions around the world to close.

World Rugby announced its response in a statement Thursday, saying stakeholders are united in tackling the "unprecedented COVID-19 challenge."

The relief fund will help nations weather the financial impact of the virus outbreak. At the same time World Rugby will work globally to decide on "a viable return to rugby" and to develop a "blueprint for potential long-term calendar overhaul."

World Rugby said its relief strategy is "underpinned by a relief fund of approximately $100 million to assist unions through to the resumption of the sport.

Avs players recovered from COVID-19, Bednar says

All three Colorado Avalanche players who tested positive for COVID-19 are on the mend, according to coach Jared Bednar.

"All of our guys are doing well," Bednar said on a Thursday conference call with reporters. "Some of them were even doing well before they had their test results. As far as I know they're all doing good and are back with their families and continuing to follow the guidelines given to us.

"Those guys were lucky that there wasn't anything too serious with their symptoms and they were able to come through it without any major complications."

According to, the Avalanche had unnamed players test positive for the coronavirus on March 26, March 27 and April 7. The only other NHL players known to have tested positive are five members of the Ottawa Senators.

Von Miller becomes NFL's second player to test positive

Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller tested positive for COVID-19, his agent told NFL Network on Thursday.

According to NFL Network, Miller "is at home resting and in good spirits" and plans to speak publicly on Friday. Multiple reports confirmed that the team is aware of the positive test.

Miller told reporters on a conference call last week he had been training in San Francisco when the coronavirus pandemic began to cause widespread stay-at-home orders, so he returned to Colorado. He was asked about how the situation has affected him and his offseason training.

On Wednesday, Los Angeles Rams centre Brian Allen said he tested positive for COVID-19 three weeks ago, leading to a two-week closure of the team's facilities.

New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton revealed last month that he tested positive for the virus. The Los Angeles Chargers last week revealed a positive test and symptoms for unidentified members of their organization.

MLB teams raise $1 million for food program

More than 50 Major League Baseball players representing all 30 teams have raised nearly $1 million to provide over 4 million meals to support childhood hunger prevention during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Home Plate Project is a partnership between Major League Baseball, country music superstar Garth Brooks' Teammates for Kids Foundation, and Big League Impact, a program led by St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright and Texas Rangers pitcher Kyle Gibson.

The Home Plate Project initiative was originally scheduled to launch its second year in the fall. But Brooks, Wainwright and Gibson saw the urgency now to provide meals for children who rely on free or reduced-price meals at schools that are closed because of the pandemic.

On short notice, the charity groups were able to raise $937,100.

Wainwright founded Big League Impact in 2013. He says the big leaguers felt the need to jump in right away to help feed kids in their cities.

Italian soccer team fires coaching staff

Italian second-division soccer club Ascoli has fired its coaching staff because of the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Ascoli says it made the decision only after coach Roberto Stellone and his staff refused to terminate their contracts consensually with a settlement agreement.

The Serie B team says the move is part of measures being taken to "safeguard" the squad's future "amid the temporary situation we are experiencing."

No soccer games have been played in Italy since March 9. That was when the government ordered a nationwide lockdown. The lockdown is set to expire after May 3.

World Rugby creates $100 million relief fund

World Rugby is offering a $100 million relief fund for national unions distressed by the coronavirus pandemic.

World Rugby says "it is designed to assist the maximum number of unions for the maximum amount of time while there is a rugby void."

The body adds "the financial package will potentially involve a combination of advances and loans" for Six Nations and Sanzaar unions and that "World Rugby is also committed to supporting emerging nations and regional associations where required."

Indian Premier cricket suspended

The Indian Premier League has been suspended indefinitely because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The IPL has become cricket's primary annual competition in April and May but India this week extended the world's biggest lockdown to May 3. That has dashed hopes by the Board of Control for Cricket in India of a shortened IPL in May possibly without spectators.

The BCCI bowed to the inevitable to suspend the Twenty20 competition until further notice.

BCCI honorary secretary Jay Shah says "the health and safety of the nation and everyone involved in our great sport remains our top priority and ... the IPL 2020 season will only commence when it is safe and appropriate to do so."

The eight-week IPL was to begin on March 29 but was then pushed back to April 15.

With files from The Canadian Press, Associated Press and Reuters

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