Sports

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

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

Next year's world track and field championships pushed back to July 2022

(Illustration by Steve Tzemis/CBC)

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

Track and field worlds moved to July 2022

The track and field world championships on Wednesday were rescheduled for July 15-24, 2022, the first major sports event to be repositioned in the wake of the 12-month postponement of the Olympics because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The event, which draws around 1,800 athletes from more than 200 countries, will still be held at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore., which was expanded and remodeled for the event that was originally supposed to take place in August 2021.

Instead of simply pushing back the worlds by a year, the new dates were chosen to co-ordinate with other major events set for 2022. The Commonwealth Games, which draws athletes from more than 70 countries in a wide array of sports, are scheduled for July 27-Aug. 7. The European track championships are set for Aug. 11-21.

It will mark the first outdoor world championships held in the United States, and will be the first worlds to be held in an even-numbered year. They had been held in odd numbered years since they started in 1983.

USWNT discrimination case delayed

The trial date for a gender discrimination case filed by the U.S. women's national soccer team has been pushed back to June 16.

Players for the team filed a lawsuit against U.S. Soccer last year under the Equal Pay Act and the Civil Rights Act of 1964. They allege that they have not been paid equitably when compared to players on the men's team and have asked for more than $66 million US in damages.

The trial date was originally set for May 5 in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles. Additionally, the April 20 pretrial conference was moved to June 1.

Both sides had sought guidance from the court in light of the coronavirus outbreak. California Gov. Gavin Newsom has issued a stay at home order in his state because of the global pandemic.

Curling worlds won't be made up

The 2020 world curling championships, cancelled because of COVID-19, will not be played at a later date.

When the World Curling Federation cancelled the women's, men's and mixed doubles championships set for March and April, it said it would be discussing potential options including rescheduling the events — perhaps playing them in the fall at one venue.

CBC Sports has learned that will no longer be the case.

"We were holding out hope, but I wouldn't say I'm surprised," skip Brad Gushue told CBC Sports on Wednesday from St. John's, N.L.. "I think based on the environment we're in right now it's not a surprise at all. But I was certainly hoping that we would get some good news in a month or two."

F1 considers considers closed races

Formula One is considering holding closed races without spectators, most likely at European circuits, once the season is able to start after being stalled by the new coronavirus pandemic.

The Australian opener on March 15 was canceled and every race up to the French Grand Prix on June 28 has been postponed so far.

Formula One's motorsport managing director Ross Brawn told a Sky Sports television 'vodcast' that a season of anywhere between eight and 19 races could still be possible.

"At the moment we are looking at the logistics of a closed race, how would we get the people there, how would we protect them, how would we make it safe, who would we allow into the paddock," he said. "Every permutation is being discussed."

Last month's Bahrain Grand Prix was due to be held without spectators, a first for the sport, before it had to be postponed.

Young, Paul, Lavine to play televised H-O-R-S-E game: report

NBA All-Stars Chris Paul and Trae Young and Chicago Bulls leading scorer Zach LaVine have signed on to participate in a televised H-O-R-S-E competition, ESPN reported on Wednesday.

Paul, in his first season with the Oklahoma City Thunder, and Young, the second-year point guard for the Atlanta Hawks, are among multiple NBA and WNBA players and NBA alumni expected to compete, according to ESPN.

Due to travel and proximity constraints imposed amid the coronavirus pandemic, players would compete by shooting at separate locations. The event reportedly would air on ESPN.

The NBA has been on hiatus since March 12.

Expectations for a return will not be addressed until at least May, commissioner Adam Silver said recently.

Postponed Games cause 'cash-flow' problems for IPC

The president of the International Paralympic Committee says the body has "cash-flow" problems because of the Olympic and Paralympic postponement until 2021.

Andrew Parsons says about five per cent of spending is being cut from the IPC's budget. A 2018 financial report showed a budget of 24 million euros ($25.7 million US).

Parsons says the problem was due partly to broadcast rights holders who want to delay their payments until the product is delivered.

Parsons says it's not a question of "losing money" but rather some temporary belt tightening.

He says "like all businesses we are tremendously affected by the COVID-19 crisis." while adding he is dealing with 150 contracts that are games-related but adds "we have no plans to let any staff go at the moment."

National Lacrosse League cancels balance of season

The National Lacrosse League cancelled the rest of the 2019-20 season on Wednesday.

Play has been on hold since March 12 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

"With three weekends left in the regular season and the uncertainty about resumption during that time, we decided it is in the best interests of our players, coaches, staff, partners and fans to remove any uncertainty," NLL commissioner Nick Sakiewicz said in a league statment.

"Our primary focus is the long term health of all involved in the sport of lacrosse from a personal and a business standpoint, and we are consulting with our board, medical and municipal authorities, as well as leadership in other organizations across sports and entertainment, to determine when we will be able to effectively move forward."

The Philadelphia-based league has 13 teams — eight in the United States and five in Canada. The season began in late November.

Switzerland soccer players decline payments

The players and coach on Switzerland's national soccer team have declined to take more than one million Swiss francs ($1.03 million US) of payments that were due from their federation in 2020.

The team was scheduled to play in the now-postponed European Championship in June and had two games in Qatar cancelled last month because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The shutdown of games has cost the Swiss soccer body millions of dollars.

Federation chairman Dominique Blanc, who tested positive for the virus three weeks ago, says it's a "magnificent gesture" from the players. Team captain Stephan Lichtsteiner says "we wanted to set an example and show solidarity."

CCM, Burton snowboard company each donating 500,000 masks

CCM has joined the list of hockey equipment manufacturers contributing supplies to front-line health care workers in the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Montreal company and its player endorsee roster that includes Connor McDavid and Sidney Crosby will donate 500,000 surgical masks, the company said Wednesday in a statement.

In the United States, the Burton snowboard company is donating 500,000 respirator masks to hospitals across the Northeast, harnessing the company's worldwide footprint to help put a dent in the country's lagging stockpile of personal protective equipment for the coronavirus pandemic.

CCM "is in the process of procuring this protective equipment from its established network of partners that normally collaborate in the production of CCM hockey gear," the company said.

"CCM will arrange for transport and is co-ordinating with government authorities to ensure the protective medical gear is distributed to Canadian healthcare workers as early as the week of April 27th."

Players are contributing to CCM's donation, according to the statement.

Meanwhile, Donna Burton Carpenter said her company's largest binding manufacturer, Fudakin in China, directed her to a nearby factory that was making FDA-approved KN95 respirator masks. The price of masks were increasing almost by the hour as competing bidders sought to increase their supplies.

She ended up paying about $1.25 per mask, more than double what they usually cost, then set about finding a way to ship them directly from China to Vermont, where Burton is headquartered.

Formula One to furlough half its staff amid pandemic

Formula One says it will furlough half of its staff until the end of May and senior executives will take pay cuts amid the coronavirus pandemic.

F1 has postponed eight races so far this season and the Monaco Grand Prix has been cancelled.

F1 says senior leadership figures will take "voluntary pay cuts while still continuing to work and not in furlough."

CEO Chase Carey will take a "much deeper" pay cut.

The McLaren and Williams teams had already put some staff on furlough schemes. McLaren drivers Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz have also taken pay cuts.

The season is currently scheduled to begin in France on June 28. F1 management has said it still hopes to hold between 15 and 18 races this year in place of the original 22.

NFL's Cardinals, State Farm to donate meals

The National Football League's Arizona Cardinals are teaming with State Farm to donate one million meals to local food banks to help families during the coronavirus crisis.

The team said on Wednesday that the number of people seeking help from local food banks has more than doubled while the number of donations has decreased dramatically.

The Cardinals have already made a $1 million US donation to the Arizona Coronavirus Relief Fund and organized three blood drives at State Farm Stadium to help boost the area's shrinking blood supply. Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury was among those who donated blood.

New Zealand suspends rugby indefinitely

The suspension of club and community rugby in New Zealand has been extended indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the sport's resumption now contingent on health ministry guidance, New Zealand Rugby said Wednesday.

All matches, training and face-to-face education courses in New Zealand were initially suspended until April 18.

However, the governing body said providing a specific restart date was unrealistic given the nationwide lockdown to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Italian Olympian, French rugby player die from virus

The Italian Olympic Committee says Donato Sabia, a two-time Olympic finalist in the 800 metres, has died after getting infected with the coronavirus. He was 56.

CONI says he is the first Italian Olympian to die with the virus that has also taken the life of former French rugby player Christophe Pras. He was 35.

Sabia finished fifth in the 800 at the 1984 Los Angeles Games and seventh at the 1988 Seoul Games. He also won the 800 at the 1984 European Indoor Championships.

Sabia died in his hometown of Potenza in southern Italy shortly after his father also died from the virus.

Pras, a former under-18 France international, had a short-lived professional career before going into coaching. He is survived by his wife and two children.

With files from The Canadian Press, Field Level Media and Reuters

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