Sports

Coronavirus: Here's what happened in the sports world on Tuesday

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

Diamond League eliminates season's first 3 track and field meets from schedule

(Illustration by Steve Tzemis/CBC)

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

  • 4 Nets players test positive for virus
  • Euro 2020, Copa America postponed 1 year
  • IOC won't make 'drastic decisions' on Tokyo Games
  • Diamond League cancels 3 track and field meets
  • French Open postponed until fall
  • PGA Championship postponed
  • Kentucky Derby moved to September

4 Nets players return positive COVID-19 tests

Four Brooklyn Nets players have tested positive for the new coronavirus, bringing the total to seven known players in the NBA.

The team announced Tuesday that one player is exhibiting symptoms, while the other three are asymptomatic. All four players have been isolated and are under the care of team physicians.

The Nets added that all players and members of their travel party are being asked to remain isolated and closely monitor their health.

Brooklyn last played on March 10 in Los Angeles, beating the Lakers. The Nets were then to face the Golden State Warriors two nights later in San Francisco before the NBA season was suspended after Utah's Rudy Gobert tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.

Canadian open water swimming championships cancelled

Swimming Canada has cancelled the Canadian open water championships because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The event was scheduled to be held April 25-26 in the Cayman Islands.

Swimming Canada said the event was cancelled because of Canada's travel advisory and the Cayman Islands government's restriction on gatherings of more than 50 people.

The event was supposed to serve as a selection trials for those seeking to advance to the FINA Olympic marathon swim qualifier May 30-31 in Fukuoka, Japan. Swimming Canada is evaluating an alternate qualification path should the qualifier be held and travel to Japan deemed safe.

Meanwhile, Swimming Canada says it is evaluating contingency plans for Olympic and Paralympic trials in late June in compliance with rules from the sport's international governing body, FINA. The event originally was scheduled for March 30-April 5 in Toronto.

PGA Championship postponed

The PGA Championship scheduled for May 14-17 has been postponed over coronavirus concerns, the PGA of America announced on Tuesday.

The major championship was due to be held at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco.

The news follows a previous announcement by Augusta National that it has postponed the Masters, the first major of the year that had been scheduled for April 9-12.

French Open tennis moved to September

The French Open was postponed for about four months because of the coronavirus pandemic, juggling the tennis calendar by shifting from May to September.

The French tennis federation said Tuesday it will hold its 15-day clay-court event at Roland Garros in Paris from Sept. 20 to Oct. 4, instead of May 24 to June 7, "to ensure the health and safety of everyone involved in organizing the tournament."

This is the first instance of a Grand Slam tournament being affected by the virus that has spread around the world. The next major tennis championship on the calendar is Wimbledon, which is to start in late June in England.

The French Open's new dates place it right after the hard-court U.S. Open is currently scheduled to be held in New York, from Aug. 31 to Sept. 13. Having one week between two major championships, played on different surfaces, would be unusually short.

The new timeline for the French Open also conflicts with several WTA and ATP hard-court tournaments already slated for those two weeks, as well as the Laver Cup exhibition event in Boston.

Track and field meets in Doha, China cancelled

The Diamond League has called off its first three track meets of the season.

The Diamond League was scheduled to start in Qatar next month. Two meets in China in May were to follow. The Diamond League says travel restrictions and disrupted preparations caused by the coronavirus outbreak have made it impossible to stage those competitions on time.

The season is now tentatively set to begin in Stockholm on May 24.

Only one of the three cancelled meets has been rescheduled. The event in Shanghai is now set for Aug. 13. The meet in Qatar and the second Chinese meet have been postponed indefinitely but could be restaged after the Diamond League final in September.

The 2020 season was supposed to see a shift in how the Diamond League is run with an extended 15-meet season and fewer events at each.

China has already resumed a partial track and field schedule after the virus outbreak subsided. It was supposed to host the world indoor championships this month in Nanjing but that event was moved to 2021.

Second Juventus player tests positive for COVID-19

Juventus announced French midfielder Blaise Matuidi has tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday.

The Italian champions released a statement confirming the 2018 World Cup winner is in isolation.

"The player, as of Wednesday, 11 March, has been in voluntary home isolation. He will continue to be monitored and will follow the same regime. He is well and is asymptomatic."

Matuidi becomes the second Juventus player diagnosed with the virus after defender Daniele Rugani was confirmed to have tested positive on March 11.

Italy has presently reported over 31,000 cases of COVID-19 and 2,500 deaths.

Euro 2020, Copa America postponed 1 year

Soccer's European Championship is being postponed one year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The tournament was scheduled to begin in June, with games being played in 12 cities across 12 countries.

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said the spreading virus currently "makes football and all life in Europe quite impossible."

Euro 2020 was scheduled to start on June 12 hosted by 12 different countries from Ireland to Azerbaijan, and Russia to Italy. A one-year postponement became UEFA's favoured option last week. It would clear several weeks in the congested calendar to complete domestic league and cup competitions, plus the Champions League and Europa League.

Still, it is far from clear when the public health crisis could ease enough for European soccer to emerge from its near-total shutdown.

Also, the Copa America has been postponed until 2021 because of the coronavirus outbreak.

South American soccer body CONMEBOL says the tournament in Colombia and Argentina will be played between June 11 and July 11.

IOC won't make 'drastic decisions' on Tokyo Games

The International Olympic Committee says there is "no need for any drastic decisions at this stage" about staging the Tokyo Olympics with more than four months until the opening ceremony.

After consulting with sports bodies about the effects of the coronavirus outbreak, the IOC says "any speculation at this moment would be counter-productive."

The International Olympic Committee says financial interests will not dictate its decisions "thanks to its risk management policies and insurance."

The IOC says 43 per cent of places at the games have yet to be confirmed.

Harry Jerome track meet cancelled

The Harry Jerome classic, Canada's longest running international track and field meet, has been cancelled.

It was scheduled for May 30 at Swangard Stadium in Burnaby, B.C.

"The safety of our families and our community should be our number one priority at this time of global crisis," said event organizer Doug Clement. "The Achilles International Track and Field Society will always support our Canadian athletes when this pandemic passes."

European gymnastics championships scrapped

The men's and women's European gymnastics championships have been cancelled.

The European Gymnastics Union says it tried to find ways to keep its events going despite the spread of the coronavirus but found it impossible because of government restrictions and travel bans.

The events offered Olympic qualifying spots.

The women's championships were due to be held in Paris from April 30-May 3, and the men's championships in Baku, Azerbaijan, from May 27-31.

Also called off are European rhythmic gymnastics championships in Ukraine and the European trampoline championship in Sweden, both in May.

MLB teams promise $30M total to support park workers

Major League Baseball's teams have pledged $30 million US for ballpark workers who will lose income because of the delay to the season caused by the coronavirus.

Commissioner Rob Manfred made the announcement Tuesday, a day after pushing back opening day to mid-May at the earliest.

"Over the past 48 hours, I have been approached by representatives of all 30 clubs to help assist the thousands of ballpark employees affected by the delay," Manfred said in a statement. "Motivated by desire to help some of the most valuable members of the baseball community, each club has committed $1 million."

Many ballpark employees are paid by the game and will not have that income during the delay. If the schedule is cut, their income likely would be reduced.

QMJHL cancels balance of regular season

The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League has cancelled the rest of its regular-season schedule because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

One of Canada's top junior circuits, along with the Ontario Hockey League and the Western Hockey League, the QMJHL season was set to end Mar. 21.

There was no word on the status of the playoffs.

The QMJHL, OHL and WHL all suspended operations last week after the NHL's move to pause proceedings amid the novel coronavirus outbreak.

The OHL and WHL have yet to make an announcement on the remainder of their seasons.

Popular Russia soccer league suspends all competitions

Soccer in Russia has been suspended until April 10.

The Russian league was the best attended sports competition still operating in Europe last weekend with more than 33,000 fans at one of its games.

The Russian Football Union says its board agreed to immediately suspend all competitions at a meeting Tuesday.

That follows a wave of tighter restrictions on public gatherings and events across Russia and a decision by CSKA Moscow to cancel its upcoming game against Zenit St. Petersburg.

Fans made ironic references to the virus outbreak at games last week. Fans of Zenit chanted "we're all going to die" on Saturday and CSKA supporters displayed a banner on Sunday with the club crest and the message: "This virus is inside me. I'm its carrier."

Kentucky Derby moved from May to September

The Kentucky Derby was postponed from May to September on Tuesday because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Churchill Downs officials said the race will move from May 2 to Sept. 5, marking the first time in 75 years it won't be run on the first Saturday in May.

The last time the Derby wasn't held on the first Saturday in May was in 1945, when the federal government issued a ban on horse racing because of World War II. The ban was lifted on May 8, and the Derby was held on June 9. The only other year the Derby wasn't held in May was in 1901, when it was raced on April 29.

The date change still must be approved by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission at its meeting Thursday.

KHL, volleyball league suspend play

The Kontinental Hockey League and the VTB United League in basketball have suspended play.

Both leagues say they will stop until at least April 10.

The KHL is widely considered to be the strongest hockey league outside the NHL. It had previously said it would pause for a week to draw up a new playoff format. It's been left with six Russian teams in an eight-team bracket after Finnish team Jokerit and Kazakh team Barys withdrew.

2nd Yankees minor leaguer tests positive: reports

A second New York Yankees minor leaguer has tested positive for the new coronavirus, a person familiar with the diagnosis told The Associated Press.

The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity Tuesday because the team had not yet made the announcement.

New York had announced a first positive test on Sunday, and general manager Brian Cashman said the player had been isolated and the Florida Department of Health notified.

The two Yankees minor leaguers are the only baseball players known to have tested positive.

Trio of major classic bike races shelved

Three major one-day classic bike races in France and Belgium have been postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Race organizer Amaury Sport Organisation says Paris-Roubaix, the Fleche Wallonne and Liege-Bastogne-Liege will be postponed.

The cycling season has been turned upside down by the outbreak. Prestigious events like the Strade Bianche, Milan-San Remo and some early Belgian classics have been cancelled or postponed. The Giro d'Italia also won't start at its scheduled May date.

ASO has yet to make a decision on the Tour de France. That race is scheduled to start in Nice on June 27.

With files from CBC Sports, The Canadian Press & Field Level Media

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

now