The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:
The site of the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York is going to be used for 350 temporary hospital beds and to prepare food packages during the coronavirus pandemic.
U.S. Tennis Association spokesman Chris Widmaier says an area that houses indoor courts at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows will begin to be converted into a medical facility starting Tuesday.
New York state and city officials are trying to increase hospital capacity by up to 87,000 beds to handle the outbreak.
Widmaier adds that kitchens at Louis Armstrong Stadium — the second-largest arena used for the Grand Slam tournament scheduled to begin in late August — will be used for putting together 25,000 meal packages per day for patients, workers, volunteers and schoolchildren in the city.
The USTA originally had said it was going to keep the facility open for people to take lessons, practice or play tennis.
But then the group changed course and said it was shutting the site to the public.
The Wall Street Journal first reported on the use of the tennis center.
Orlando Magic forward Wes Iwundu not only decided to help those affected by the coronavirus pandemic, he chose to help out a teammate as well.
The Magic announced Monday that Iwundu donated to teammate Jonathan Isaac’s effort to feed children in Orlando who are in need. Isaac also revealed the donation on his social media platforms.
Isaac announced last week that he is teaming up with J.U.M.P. Ministries Global Church to provide hot breakfasts and lunches to schoolchildren on weekdays for the duration of the pandemic. Isaac also is helping families obtain nonperishable food items once a week, things like oatmeal, cereal and instant rice.
The International Tennis Federation is offering interactive online courses and making videos and other content to help coaches available for free during the coronavirus pandemic.
There are ITF Academy classes in English, Spanish and French, covering topics such as strategy and tactics, tennis parents and ethics in coaching.
The federation is also making its “Advanced Coaches Manual” ebook available for free instead of its usual price tag of 14.99 British pounds (about $18.50). That comes in 13 languages.
Golf Canada has postponed three regional qualifying tournaments for the RBC Canadian Open because of the new coronavirus.
The tournaments were scheduled for May. There is no word on when they may be rescheduled. The RBC Canadian Open is still scheduled to start June 8 at St. George’s Country Club in Toronto.
The Arizona Diamondbacks are donating an additional $500,000 to help people and organizations affected by the coronavirus pandemic, bringing the organization’s total contributions to more than $1 million.
The franchise donated $550,000 last week and said that money was given to numerous nonprofit organizations that worked in food distribution and also helped support the children of health care workers. The new donation will help those causes in addition to more providing support for the medical and health care fields.
“We are fortunate to not only be in a position to continue to give back, but to be in touch regularly with those in the medical field who can help distribute these funds in a meaningful way,” Diamondbacks President Derrick Hall said in a statement. “Whether it is personal protective equipment, critical resources to support health care personnel or technology to provide virtual visits for those currently receiving care, we believe this money can make an immediate impact.”
Soccer agent Jorge Mendes is donating more than 150,000 masks to a Portuguese hospital with the help of José Mourinho, Cristiano Ronaldo and other players.
Mendes has raised the funds for the masks with the help of 25 people, most of them footballers. The donation will be made to the Hospital Santo António in Porto.
Among the players involved were Bernardo Silva, João Félix, Nélson Semedo, Pepe and Renato Sanches.
Ronaldo and Mendes had already funded other donations, including three intensive care units for coronavirus patients at hospitals in Portugal. They said they had also offered ventilators to officials in Madeira.
Washington Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo says the team has completely left its spring training facility, which is now being used for coronavirus testing.
The National Guard is using parking lots and back fields to check members of the public at the complex the Nationals share with the Houston Astros in West Palm Beach, Florida.
Rizzo also said on a conference call with reporters Monday that Nationals Park in Washington “is completely closed.”
The GM said none of the World Series champions’ players has shown any symptoms of COVID-19, so none has been tested for the illness.
Augusta National is donating $2 million, split evenly to Augusta University to expand testing for the new coronavirus and to a local relief agency to help those affected financially by the pandemic.
The gift is in partnership with the Community Foundation for the Central Savannah River Area (CSRA), the longtime charitable arm for the home of the Masters.
Chairman Fred Ridley says the $1 million to Augusta University will help with telemedicine pre-screening, triple the number of drive-through testing lanes on campus and allow for more supplies and personnel to increase testing from 100 to 1,000 or more tests daily.
The gift to the CSRA COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund goes directly to support relief efforts to those most vulnerable.
“It is our hope these gifts will help address the many challenges brought about by the coronavirus throughout the city of Augusta and the greater region,” Ridley said. “We believe Augusta National has an important responsibility to support and protect the community who has so generously and consistently supported us for many years.”
The CFL has postponed the start of training camps due to the coronavirus pandemic.
League commissioner Randy Ambrosie says the pandemic has made it unsafe for players and coaches to gather as scheduled.
The league has not given an indication of when camps might open.
Postponing training camps increases the likelihood of the CFL delaying the start of its 2020 regular season.
The Pac-12 Conference has extended its suspension of organized team activities through May 31 because of the new coronavirus.
Virtual group activities, including film study, are allowed up to two hours per week in football and four hours per week in other sports. Coaches are allowed to recommend written, self-directed workout plans, and videos on workout plans are allowed to show proper form and technique.
Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart says he has been cleared by medical officials after testing positive for the new coronavirus earlier this month.
In a message posted late Sunday on Twitter, Smart says he was informed of the news Friday by the Massachusetts Department of Health. He thanked everyone for their support.
“Stay safe and stay together — apart!” Smart wrote.
Boston played the Utah Jazz on March 6. Five days later, Jazz All-Star Rudy Gobert announced he had tested positive for COVID-19, triggering rolling shutdowns of sports around the world.
Smart tested positive on March 19. He had been in isolation since then and was being monitoring by Celtics medical staff. His teammates, coaches and staff members were also tested, but those tests have come back negative.
The British and Irish Lions and SA Rugby have delayed the ticket ballots in Europe and South Africa and the release of the supporters’ tour packages because of the coronavirus outbreak.
Both were to be launched next month for the tour in July 2021.
“Everyone’s priorities are in doing everything they can to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, and we are no exception,” SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux said in a statement on Monday. “We ask our passionate rugby supporters to please bear with us during this difficult time.”
The eight-match tour is going ahead as scheduled despite clashing with the postponed Tokyo Olympics.
The tests are on July 24 — the day after the games open — July 31, and Aug. 7.
Atlanta United President Darren Eales says Major League Soccer still intends to play a full 34-game schedule this season, even though the league will be shuttered for at least two months because of the new coronavirus.
Eales says MLS is more fortunate than other leagues around the world that play the traditional fall-to-spring schedule and may have trouble completing their seasons in such a compressed time frame.
MLS was just two weeks into its season when play was halted March 12 because of the pandemic. The league has set a tentative return date of May 10, though the growing death toll in the United States could force that date to be pushed back.
Eales says everything is on the table, including the possibility of resuming league play in empty stadiums.
“We’re fortunate that we had just started our season,” he said Monday during a teleconference with Atlanta media. “We have the whole calendar year to reschedule the games we missed. The emphasis is on playing all 34 games plus the playoffs.”
MLS will likely schedule more midweek games and push back its MLS Cup championship game into mid-December in a bid to play a full season, according to Eales. He added that the playoffs could begin in mid-November — around the time MLS had been planning its title game.
General manager Brian MacLellan says no Washington Capitals players have tested positive for COVID-19 or shown any symptoms after using the same locker room as NBA players who later tested positive.
MacLellan says the team hasn’t had any sickness complaints from players related to the coronavirus pandemic that suspended the NHL season. The Capitals followed the NBA’s Utah Jazz in the visiting locker room at Madison Square Garden in New York in early March. Two Jazz players tested positive.
MacLellan said on a conference call Monday that “we’re pretty much daily checking in with players to see if they’re exhibiting any” symptoms.
Four NHL players have tested positive for the new coronavirus: two on the Ottawa Senators and two on the Colorado Avalanche. NHL chief medical officer Winne Meeuwisse said last week he was “thankful” the numbers have been low.
The Irish Open has become the latest European Tour golf event to be postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak.
The tournament was scheduled for May 28-31. There will now be no play on the tour until June at the earliest. The next possible tournament is the Trophee Hassan II in Morocco from June 4-7.
The Irish Open is one of the high-profile events that make up the tour’s Rolex Series and had prize money of $7 million this year. It was due to be hosted by Graeme McDowell at the Mount Juliet Estate in County Kilkenny.
Regular tour events in Kenya, India, Malaysia, China, Spain, Portugal and Denmark have already been postponed or canceled.
European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley says “we will continue to evaluate all aspects of our 2020 European Tour schedule, and discussions on the rescheduling of postponed events will remain ongoing until we have clarity on the global situation.”
The governing body of swimming welcomed the new Tokyo Olympic dates without giving any detail of how to reschedule its own world championships in Japan next year.
FINA’s biennial worlds were planned for July 16-Aug. 1, 2021, in Fukuoka. That slot is now taken by the Tokyo Olympics.
FINA says knowing the Olympic dates “is very helpful to federations and athletes everywhere.”
The governing body of track quickly committed to pushing back its world championships to 2022. But FINA has the added complication of the 2022 Commonwealth Games because many top swimmers compete in both events.
The governing body of triathlon says it wanted the rescheduled Olympics to be held earlier in the year to avoid the summer heat but has accepted the new dates.
World Triathlon president Marisol Casado says “even though we would have preferred to move the games to earlier dates, where the impact of the heat was a bit lower, we agreed that these dates are the best solution.”
All sports federations involved in the Olympics signed off on the new dates.
Casado says “I am absolutely confident that we will have magnificent games in Tokyo next summer, with the help and support of all of us involved in the preparations for hosting the event.”
The International Olympic Committee previously moved the marathons and race walking events to Japan’s northern city of Sapporo and scheduled most of them to start early in the morning to avoid the heat in Tokyo.
Triathlon has remained in the capital even though it includes running.
The governing body of track and field says it supports the new dates for the Tokyo Olympics and is working with organizers in Eugene, Oregon, to move its world championships to 2022.
World Athletics says “everyone needs to be flexible and compromise.”
The 2021 track worlds were scheduled to be next year from Aug. 6-15.
World Athletics says it will consult with the organizers of the Commonwealth Games and the European Athletics Championships. Those are other major track events scheduled to take place in 2022.
The Tokyo Olympics will open next year in the same time slot scheduled for this year’s games.
Tokyo organizers say the opening ceremony will take place on July 23, 2021 — almost exactly one year after the games were due to start this year.
The IOC and Japanese organizers last week postponed the Olympics until 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
This year’s games were scheduled to open on July 24 and close on Aug. 9. But the near exact one-year delay will see the rescheduled closing ceremony on Aug. 8.
There had been talk of switching the Olympics to spring, a move that would coincide with the blooming of Japan’s famous cherry blossoms. But it would also clash with European soccer and North American sports leagues.
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