Update on the latest sports

first_imgUpdate on the latest sports — The NBA has firmed up the schedule for what will be a hectic time for teams this fall. The league has set Oct. 16 as the date for this year’s draft and says clubs can begin talking to free agents two days later. The annual moratorium will begin at 12:01 a.m. Eastern time on Oct. 19 and continue through noon on Oct. 23. The league told teams of the plans Saturday in a memo obtained by The Associated Press.— Canada’s approval of the NHL’s return-to-play proposal has led the league to consider designating one or more cities north of the border to serve as hubs for its 24-team playoff format. Officials say Canada’s top public health officer as well as the top health officers of Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario and Toronto worked closely with the NHL to approve the plan. It required an exemption because the U.S.-Canada border is currently closed to all non-essential travel until at least July 21 and those who enter Canada must self-isolate for 14 days.— The Toronto Maple Leafs aren’t commenting on reports that star player Auston Matthews has tested positive for the coronavirus. The Leafs say a player’s medical information is private. The Toronto Sun and The Toronto Star report that the center tested positive. According to the Sun, the 22-year-old Matthews has self-quarantined in his Arizona home and hopes to be ready to play if the NHL season resumes. The NHL hopes to open training camps next month, and finish off the 2019-20 season later this summer.— The Tampa Bay Lightning closed their facilities Thursday after five team employees tested positive for the coronavirus, according to a person with knowledge of the situation. The person tells The Associated Press the team and the NHL haven’t announced the closure. The NHL is also no longer announcing which teams’ individual players tested positive. The developments come some two weeks after players could return to their respective facilities to take part in voluntary on- and off-ice workouts.— Five-time PGA Tour winner Nick Watney tested positive Friday for the coronavirus, the first player with a confirmed infection since golf resumed its schedule last week. Watney withdrew immediately from the RBC Heritage and must self-isolate for at least 10 days under the PGA Tour’s protocols. The tour began its phase of contact tracing and identified 11 people who were tested Friday evening. All results came back negative. Secondary tests were given, and those results were not expect until Saturday night or Sunday.  — An unidentified San Francisco 49ers player has reportedly tested positive for COVID-19 after an informal workout with teammates in Tennessee. The NFL Network reported that one player who took part in the workouts this week in Nashville has tested positive. All the players who were there will now get tested to see if there is any spread. The team declined to comment, citing federal and state privacy laws about the personal health of employees.— Clemson says 23 football players have tested positive for the coronavirus since the athletes returned to campus this month. There have been 28 positive tests for COVID-19 at the school, including two football staffers and three athletes from other sports. None of those contracting the virus have been hospitalized. Those testing positive are isolated for at least 10 days. The uptick at Clemson is similar to one in the state of South Carolina, which reported a single-day high of 1,081 cases on Friday.— Universities have begun the process of playing sports through a pandemic. SMU is having its athletes put a signature on a waiver, acknowledging the risks for COVID-19. Ohio State and Missouri have pledges they are requiring athletes or their parents to sign before the players can take part in voluntary workouts. Legal experts say athletes may be signing away some of their rights. — NASCAR heads to Talladega Superspeedway this weekend with new rules and more fans. The Alabama track will admit up to 5,000 fans on Sunday, just 48 hours after Stewart-Haas Racing confirmed two of its employees tested positive for the new coronavirus. The new rules are in response to Ryan Newman’s crash in the Daytona 500, but there is no practice or qualifying scheduled, so drivers won’t have a feel for the adjustments until the race begins. NASCAR also will be on the lookout for the newly banned Confederate flag.— The NASCAR Cup race at Texas will have thousands of spectators in the stands. Texas Governor Greg Abbott has approved a comprehensive action plan submitted by the track to allow fans for the July 19 race. While the state allows 50% capacity for outdoor sporting events, track president Eddie Gossage says it’s too early to know how many fans will be able to attend. With social distancing protocols in place, the speedway first must reassign seating for people who had already purchased tickets for the race that was originally scheduled for March 29. The track capacity is about 135,000. Associated Press UNDATED (AP) — Every team in Major League Baseball will shut its spring training camp over concerns about the coronavirus pandemic, according to a person familiar with the decision. The move follows an announcement by the Philadelphia Phillies that five players had tested positive for COVID-19.The person told The Associated Press the spring complexes in Florida and Arizona will close temporarily and undergo a deep cleaning and disinfecting. No one will be permitted back inside without a negative test for the virus.The closures come as MLB owners and players try to negotiate a deal to begin the season, and raise the possibility the virus outbreak could scuttle all attempts at starting up this year.In other developments related to the COVID-19 pandemic:— A shortened baseball season would result in some temporary rules changes. Extra innings that start with runners on second base, games ending in ties and re-entry are among the possibilities. And the season may be limited to a maximum 60 games by teams that claim they can’t afford more due to the coronavirus pandemic. MLB included the controversial extra-inning runner rule in its proposal Wednesday for a 60-game season, down from an initial 82, and also wants it for 2021. The players’ association accepted the rule Thursday for 2020 only in its counterproposal for 70 games, down from an initial 114. No fans or owners will be at the New York track for the $1 million race that is being run at a shorter distance this year. This Belmont — rescheduled from June 6 — will be run at 1 1/8 miles, the first time since 1925 it won’t be its usual grueling 1 1/2 miles. The top four finishers earn Kentucky Derby qualifying points, including 150 to the winner.Tiz the Law is the only horse in the race with Grade 1 stakes victories. He’ll try to buck history as the first New York-bred in 138 years to win the $1 million race. His 82-year-old trainer, Barclay Tagg, is chasing a win that eluded him in 2003 after Funny Cide won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness only to lose his Triple Crown bid in the Belmont.The Belmont is kicking off the Triple Crown series for the first time, instead of completing the series of three races run over five weeks. The Kentucky Derby follows on Sept. 5, with the Preakness finishing up on Oct. 3.VIRUS OUTBREAK-SPORTSAP source: MLB spring training sites close amid virus worry Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditHORSE RACING-BELMONTBelmont kicking off Triple Crown seriesELMONT, N.Y. (AP) — Tiz the Law is the star of a 10-horse field for the Belmont Stakes, perhaps the biggest event in U.S. sports since the coronavirus pandemic shut down competition in mid-March. The 3-year-old colt is the early 6-5 favorite for Saturday’s race. June 20, 2020 — The Chinese basketball league has restarted after an almost five-month shutdown for the coronavirus pandemic but is going ahead in empty stadiums and with fewer foreign players. The CBA was suspended on Jan. 24 after the virus outbreak in Wuhan. The semifinals stage has started with 20 teams divided into two divisions and limited venues to reduce travel. All stadiums are closed to fans. League chairman and former NBA star Yao Ming praised the work of the clubs and health authorities for helping get the season restarted. He says as the first national large-scale sports event to be restarted in China the CBA is of “strategic significance.”— French soccer authorities will allow fans back into stadiums starting July 10, with an initial limit of 5,000. The president of the French Football Federation says it is possible more spectators will be allowed into the French Cup final at the end of July and for the resumption of top-tier Ligue 1 play at the end of August. The French government called off the country’s 2019-20 soccer season on April 28 as part of efforts to contain the coronavirus pandemic.— A team of teenagers took the field for a club hit by the coronavirus pandemic and lost 10-1 as soccer in Russia restarted Friday. FC Rostov was forced to send a squad with an average age of barely 17 to play against Sochi, two days after its entire first team was put into isolation over a suspected virus outbreak among six players. Sochi refused to postpone the game, leaving Rostov a choice between fielding academy graduates or accepting defeat by default. Rostov’s 17-year-old goalkeeper Denis Popov won widespread praise and was named man of the match. Despite conceding a record number of goals, he stopped a penalty and also set a new league record for most saves in a game with 15.last_img