Sports

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

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

Tokyo Olympic organizers leaning away from starting games in spring of 2021

(Illustration by Steve Tzemis/CBC)

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

  • Olympic organizers leaning away from starting games in spring of 2021
  • Avalanche report a 2nd player has tested positive
  • Knicks owner James Dolan tests positive
  • NHL broadcasters Gord Wilson, John Kelly have coronavirus
  • Ronaldo, Juventus forgo $100M US in salary
  • WNBA player Sydney Wiese 'feeling better' after positive test
  • Mountain bike world championships cancelled in Germany
  • Tennis stars Djokovic, Federer rally in fight against virus

Spring Olympics appearing less likely

Tokyo Olympic organizers seem to be leaning away from starting the rescheduled games in the spring of 2021. More and more the signs point toward the summer of 2021.

Organizing committee President Yoshiro Mori suggested there would be no major change from 2020.

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach had left open the possibility of spring dates after announcing Tuesday that the Tokyo Games would be postponed.

The postponed games were to have opened on July 24 and closed on Aug. 9. Mori suggested some decisions could be made as early as this week when the organizing committee's executive board meets.

2nd Avalanche player has coronavirus

The Colorado Avalanche say a second player has tested positive for the new coronavirus.

The team said it was informed Friday night and the player is in self-isolation.

In their statement issued Saturday, the Avalanche say those who came in close contact with the player have been informed and remain isolated. The team says no other Avalanche player or staff member has shown symptoms at this time.

The unidentified player has become the fourth known NHL player to test positive for the virus. The other two are with Ottawa.

Knicks owner diagnosed with coronavirus

James Dolan, the executive chairman of Madison Square Garden Company and owner of the New York Knicks, has tested positive for the coronavirus. The Knicks announced Dolan's diagnosis Saturday night. It is not clear when he was tested or when he received the diagnosis.

Dolan is the first U.S. major pro sports owner known to have tested positive for the virus. He also owns the NHL's New York Rangers, along with other venues like Radio City Music Hall, The Hulu Theatre and The Chicago Theatre.

"The Madison Square Garden Company Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jim Dolan has tested positive for coronavirus," the Knicks' statement said.

"He has been in self-isolation and is experiencing little to no symptoms. He continues to oversee business operations."

Senators, Blues broadcasters test positive

Longtime Ottawa Senators broadcaster Gord Wilson has tested positive for COVID-19 and is currently recovering at home.

Wilson and his wife, Patricia Boal — who has not tested positive for the coronavirus — have been in self-isolation since March 18.

Two Senators players tested positive earlier this month, while a Colorado Avalanche player became the third NHLer to have the COVID-19 virus on Thursday.

The St. Louis Blues have confirmed that play-by-play announcer John Kelly has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus and has been in self-quarantine at home since March 13.

Newfoundland and Labrador Summer Games postponed

The Newfoundland and Labrador Summer Games, scheduled for Aug. 15-22, in Bay Roberts, was postponed Saturday due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

With sport facilities closed during a state of emergency, athletes cannot train in a regular way and teams are unable to be selected.

"The Town of Bay Roberts shares the concerns of the provincial government and the host committee for the health and safety of everyone in our communities, and we agree that the best course of action at this time is to postpone the 2020 NL Summer Games," Mayor Philip Wood said in a statement.

Added Games Host Committee co-chair Judy Morrow: "The 2020 NL Summer Games Host Committee remains committed to delivering the most exciting and successful experience possible for our athletes and our community.

"We fully support efforts to protect the health and safety of everyone during this challenging time and will be working diligently with the Provincial Government, the Town of Bay Roberts and Sport NL to select a new date for these Games."

Ronaldo, others relinquish $100M US to help during crisis

Cristiano Ronaldo and his Juventus teammates along with coach Maurizio Sarri agreed to forgo 90 million euros ($100 million US) in wages on Saturday to help the club during the coronavirus crisis.

The club said the money amounted to four months worth of wages, a third of players' salaries.

The first agreement of its kind in Serie A since play was halted three weeks ago means Ronaldo, the highest-paid player in Serie A, will give up 10 million euros (more than $11 million).

All sports in Italy have been suspended under a nationwide lockdown through April 3 but health experts have said the need to try to contain the COVID-19 will likely last weeks beyond that. League officials have discussed resuming Serie A in May.

Three Juventus players — Daniele Rugani, Blaise Matuidi and Paulo Dybala — have tested positive for COVID-19.

Players, musicians raise over $500K US at Spanish festival

Athletes and musicians took part in an online global music festival organized by the Spanish league that raised more than 500,000 euros ($552,000 US) for the fight against the coronavirus on Saturday in Madrid.

Barcelona's Gerard Pique, Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos and tennis star Rafael Nadal were among those who participated in the charity event organized to raise funds for the purchase of medical supplies and to support fans confined to their homes.

Celebrities in the festival also included singers Aitana, Alejandro Sanz, Beret and Luis Fonsi, actress Danna Paola, music bands Morat and Taburete, and Chinese pianist Lang Lang.

"It's nice to see that when people need us, we can unite. I'm proud to be part of something like this," Pique said. "People close to us will suffer, some of us will suffer first-hand, but together we have to overcome this, and I believe that together we are invincible."

The athletes and celebrities participated from their homes in the three-hour event shown live to 180 countries through the league's international broadcasters and streamed via YouTube and Facebook.

Spain, where stay-at-home restrictions have been in place for nearly two weeks, has been one of the hardest-hit countries by the coronavirus pandemic. It reported 832 more deaths on Saturday in its highest daily count yet, bringing the total to 5,690.

WNBA player contracts virus after trip to Spain

The Los Angeles Sparks say guard Sydney Wiese's positive test for COVID-19 came after she returned from Spain, which has been hit hard by the pandemic.

Wiese wrote on Twitter that she was "feeling well — fortunate to only show mild symptoms, but I am capable of spreading it."

The Sparks say in a statement that Wiese is self-isolating at home in Phoenix. The WNBA team says it's in direct communication with her and wishes her a speedy recovery.

The 24-year-old Wiese has spent her career playing for the Sparks after getting drafted by Los Angeles in 2017. She starred at Oregon State, helping the Beavers reach the Final Four in 2016.

Mountain bike worlds to be rescheduled

The mountain bike world championships in Albstadt, Germany, from June 25-28 have been postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Officials of the city, German federation and cycling governing body UCI will talk next week to try and set new dates.

The UCI reiterated world championships have priority in a revised calendar.

The worlds follow the postponement or cancellation of nine World Cups in the cross-country, downhill and eliminator disciplines.

Djokovic joins Federer in fight against coronavirus

Novak Djokovic and his wife, Jelena, are donating  one million Euros, about $1.1 million US, to buy ventilators and other equipment for hospitals in their native Serbia to assist in the fight against the coronavirus.

"The fight is not easy, numbers are not pleasant, but I am convinced that we will manage to make it out of this stronger than before," Djokovic said Friday in comments released by his foundation.

"It is important to remain united in this fight, to help each other, so we can defeat this virus faster and easier. We would like to use this opportunity to invite everyone else to join us and help numerous families and people who need help to survive and get healthy again."

The foundation's focus is on preschool education for children in Serbia, but Djokovic has shifted gears in recent days. He said his team has researched how to procure the equipment, especially ventilators, and will be "overseeing the whole thing and ensure that there are no problems."

The Djokovic donation follows that of Roger Federer and his wife, Mirka, who earlier this week donated about $1 million to families in Switzerland left in need because of the coronavirus.

A-Leaguer is 1st Aussie pro soccer player with virus

An A-League soccer player has become the first Australian professional footballer to test positive for the new coronavirus.

The unnamed player, who plays for the Newcastle Jets in New South Wales state, was tested Friday as a precaution before an international flight. He played in recent A-League matches against Brisbane and Melbourne City.

Jets chief executive Lawrie McKinna said the player is asymptomatic and in good health.

The player is now in quarantine and the A-League is suspended at least until April 22.

With files from Field Level Media

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