The Latest on the coronavirus outbreak’s effect on sports around the world (all times local):
The Toronto Raptors say all members of their travel party — players, coaches, staff — have tested negative for the coronavirus, with one result still pending.
The Raptors were tested in Toronto on Wednesday night, two nights after they played the Utah Jazz. A pair of Jazz players, Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell, have tested positive for COVID-19. Gobert and Mitchell both played in that game against Toronto.
The Raptors said they’ll continue to be vigilant even after the test results came back negative. The team says “those asked to self-isolate by Toronto Public Health will continue to do so. We will all practice social distancing and good hand hygiene, and — most importantly — carefully monitor our health.”
Toronto officials also have sought ongoing guidance from Canadian health officials and infectious disease experts.
The New York Mets say the father of Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell has tested negative for the coronavirus.
Donovan Mitchell Sr. works for the Mets as director of player relations and community outreach. The younger Mitchell confirmed Thursday he tested positive for the coronavirus after Jazz teammate Rudy Gobert became the first NBA player to test positive, with Gobert’s test prompting the league to suspend the season.
The Mets say the elder Mitchell was tested Thursday and a negative result was received Friday night.
The U.S. Olympic wrestling trials scheduled for April 4-5 at Penn State have been postponed indefinitely.
USA Wrestling announced organizers are working with officials in State College, Pennsylvania, and medical experts to determine when, and if, the event can be rescheduled at the Bryce Jordan Center.
Also postponed is the Last Chance Olympic Trials Qualifier that was scheduled March 27-28 at Millersville University in Millersville, Pennsylvania. With the delay of the Olympic trials, the date of the Last Chance qualifier will be scheduled at an appropriately timed date prior to the trials
The Big 12 Conference has canceled all athletic competitions for the rest of the academic year.
The conference also announced Friday that all team activities, organized or voluntary, including team and individual practices, meetings, and other gatherings, have been suspended until March 29 and will be re-evaluated at that time.
That leaves the door open for the Big 12 to hold spring football practice.
There were no fans at Gulfstream Park on Friday, and plenty of bets got made anyway.
Almost $7 million was wagered on Gulfstream’s 10-race card, down about 20% from the same racing date last year — but, it should be noted, Friday had about 20% fewer horses on the card as well. Fans were kept away from the South Florida track because of concerns about the coronavirus pandemic, and jockeys were examined by medical professionals before being cleared to race.
“It’s way different. It feels so different, you know? It’s a little sad,” jockey Luis Saez said. “This is the sport we love and we love to see people screaming and making us feel very important. I know everybody is watching us, but we have to deal with it.”
Trainer Michael Yates saddled De Pura Sangre to a win in the first race, and noticed in the winner’s circle that nobody was there.
“But it doesn’t matter if there are two people in the field,” Yates said. “You win the race, you win the race.”
Jockey Tyler Gaffalione said riders were checked for fever and other problems before the card.
“We’re taking all the precautionary measures and credit to Gulfstream Park for doing the right thing,” Gaffalione said.
Wagering at Gulfstream and other tracks is available online and through simulcasts.
A Rhode Island police chief says a young resident being treated for the coronavirus might have contracted it from an NBA player.
According to the Providence Journal, Westerly Police Chief Shawn Lacey says the child, whom he did not name, attended a Boston Celtics game last week and got an autograph from an infected player, whom he also did not name.
The Celtics played the Utah Jazz on March 6; at least two Jazz players — stars Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert — have since tested positive for the coronavirus.
Paderborn defender Luca Kilian is the first Bundesliga player to test positive for the new coronavirus.
The club says coach Steffen Baumgart has been cleared but Kilian, who hasn’t played for several weeks due to injury, returned a positive result on Friday.
Paderborn was due to play at Fortuna Duesseldorf on Friday night but the German soccer league eventually called off the weekend’s games earlier after bowing to pressure as the number of positive cases among second division sides increased.
Hannover was the first to quarantine its team after two players tested positive for the virus, with Nuremberg following suit on Friday after defender Fabian Nürnberger was also found to be infected with COVID-19.
Paderborn says all of its players and coaching staff will undergo tests on Saturday.
“The health of our players and staff continues to be the absolute priority,” sporting director Martin Przondziono says. “We will do everything to keep the illness in check and give our players and staff the best possible medical assistance and care.”
FIFA wants a total shutdown of this month’s window for national team games which is in turmoil due to the coronavirus pandemic.
FIFA says a panel of its vice presidents agreed “rules which normally oblige clubs to release players for national team matches will not apply” for the March 23-31 window mandated in its international fixture calendar.
Close to 200 national teams were due to be in action in 2022 World Cup qualifying games in Asia and South America, qualifiers for continental championships in Africa and Europe, plus friendlies.
Most scheduled games were lost to a steady wave of postponements and cancellations this month as the virus outbreak spread globally.
UEFA has yet to formally postpone 2020 European Championships playoffs involving 16 nations. The games scheduled on March 26 and 31 seemed sure to be postponed by Tuesday.
A major prep race for the Kentucky Derby will be run as scheduled next week, without spectators.
Fair Grounds Race Course in New Orleans is joining other tracks in banning fans through the remainder of its racing meet that ends March 29. Only essential staff and credentialed horsemen and media will be in attendance.
The $1 million Louisiana Derby will run as scheduled on March 21. The race offers the winner 100 points toward qualifying for the Kentucky Derby on May 2.
The funeral for former Montreal Canadiens captain Henri Richard on Monday in Montreal will be closed to the public because of the COVID-19 outbreak.
The Canadiens announced the decision was made in response to measures put in place by the Quebec government to prevent the spread of the virus.
The club says it is an “exceptional situation” that left the family with no other choice but to hold a private funeral, involving only immediate family members.
Richard died on March 6. He was 84.
The Montreal native won a record 11 Stanley Cups as a player.
NHL Players’ Association chief Don Fehr tells The Associated Press that he expects teams will be cleared to open their training facilities to allow player workouts as early as next week.
Though there is no definitive timeline, Fehr says the potential of teams opening their training facilities to players will be included in a joint memo the league and union plan to issue on Friday. The memo will provide players with guidelines on what to expect after the league on Thursday elected to suspend the final month of its regular season.
In the meantime, Fehr says players have been asked to spend the weekend at home to avoid risk of being infected by the new coronavirus.
The additional time off over the weekend would also provide teams to cleanse their facilities.
“I think we’re in the ‘Let’s relax and take stock of where we are first,’” Fehr said by phone from the NHLPA offices in Toronto. “I think the initial phase is a few days, whether it turns out to be two or three or five or six, we’re not going to know yet. And we’ll be constantly in touch with the NHL and constantly re-evaluating.”
— Reporting by AP Hockey Writers Stephen Whyno and John Wawrow
The Southeastern Conference has suspended all athletic activities at least through April 15 due to continuing developments related to the coronavirus.
The events called off include competitions, team and individual practices, meetings and other organized gatherings.
The SEC had previously announced that all competition was suspended until March 30. That suspension of competition has been extended through April 15 and now includes all organized team activities.
SEC athletics programs will cease practices, individual and team workouts effective the end of the day Friday. Team meetings will conclude no later than 5 p.m. local time Monday.
Two major regattas, including one on the Italian island of Sardinia that would have debuted the radical new boats that will be used in the 2021 America’s Cup, were called off Friday due to the coronavirus pandemic.
With Italy at the epicenter of Europe’s outbreak, the Italian group that represents the three challenging teams postponed a warmup regatta set for April 23-26 in Cagliari. The group said it would ask the America’s Cup arbitration panel to set a new date. That would seem nearly impossible due to the logistical challenge of shipping the 75-foot foiling monohulls.
The second America’s Cup World Series regatta is set for June 4-7 in Portsmouth, England, and will be organized by the defender, Emirates Team New Zealand.
Part of the INEOS Team UK crew flew back to England on Thursday night, a team spokeswoman said. Team New Zealand’s race yacht is on a freighter in the middle of the Indian Ocean and a spokesman said the team is looking at transferring it to another ship to get it to England.
Skipper Terry Hutchinson of the New York Yacht Club’s American Magic, which recently finished winter training in Pensacola, Florida, thanked the Italian organizers “for making an incredibly difficult decision that prioritized the safety of teams, race officials and all organizing authorities. We know it was not easy and taking a leadership position was critical.”
SailGP, co-founded by former America’s Cup champion Russell Coutts and tech tycoon Larry Ellison, canceled its regatta in San Francisco set for May 2-3.
Major League Baseball is encouraging players to go home a day after canceling spring training and postponing opening day by at least two weeks amid the novel coronavirus outbreak.
Ballparks in Florida and Arizona were locked down Friday as the sport considered how to proceed following an outbreak that has brought the U.S. sports schedule to a standstill. Teams speculated the season might not start until sometime in May, necessitating a reduced schedule.
The league and players’ association were discussing options Friday. Many teams said in the morning they planned to close for the weekend and re-open camps Monday. But a decision was made to encourage players to leave camp in the afternoon.
The dispersal is not mandatory. In particular, many minor league players — especially from other countries — have been hoping to remain in camps, where they have usually access to housing, food and training facilities.
USA Diving is immediately suspending all of its activities for 30 days because of the coronavirus outbreak.
That includes camps, conferences and any travel to gatherings.
The sport’s governing body is also recommending all sanctioned activities be suspended for the same amount of time. Its board of directors will meet Sunday to discuss plans for international competitions.
Sliding season in the U.S. is over.
USA Bobsled and Skeleton said Friday that it is canceling its national championships, which were to take place later this month in Lake Placid, New York. New USA Bobsled and Skeleton CEO Aron McGuire says “we must exercise caution when it comes to the safety of the athletes” amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Also Friday, USA Luge said all of its remaining on-ice programs for the season in Lake Placid — including training sessions, youth screening camps, fantasy camps and the Masters championships — are off as well. USA Luge also is delaying its open house for the team’s new indoor refrigerated training center. It was to have been unveiled April 4.
USA Luge CEO Jim Leahy says “out of an abundance of caution … we felt it necessary to terminate the season at this point.”
A spokeswoman for the women’s professional tennis tour says the WTA is going to wait “a bit more time” to make decisions on whether any additional scheduling changes might be needed because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Amy Binder writes in an email to The Associated Press on Friday that the WTA “has an obligation” to players and tournaments “to provide playing opportunities.”
She adds that the WTA is communicating with upcoming European clay-court and grass-court tournaments.
Binder says it is important to move quickly but also not to “simply react.”
She says the WTA expects to make a decision “in the week ahead.”
On Thursday, the men’s tennis tour suspended all ATP Tour and ATP Challenger Tour tournaments for six weeks, through April 26.
Women’s events have been called off one by one through April 12.
The next Grand Slam tournament, the French Open, is still scheduled to begin May 24 in Paris.
Also Friday, the U.S. Tennis Association said it is suspending all of its sanctioned events through April 20.
That includes USTA Pro Circuit tournaments, along with adult, junior and wheelchair tournaments.
The group hopes to eventually reschedule events where possible.
The NCAA will extend the eligibility of athletes on spring sports teams one year to make up for the season lost to the new coronavirus.
The decision comes after the NCAA announced Thursday that its winter and spring championships would be canceled as a precaution against the spread of the new coronavirus. Some but not all conferences have announced that their spring sports teams would not continue their regular seasons.
An athletics official at an East Coast school told The Associated Press that the NCAA Division I Council Coordination Committee sent an email notifying schools of the eligibility decision. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to release the information.
The official read the content of the email but declined to forward a copy because the official’s university monitors outgoing emails.
“The Council Coordination Committee agreed that it will be appropriate to grant relief for the use of a season of competition for student-athletes who have participated in spring sports. The committee recognizes that several issues need to be addressed related to providing the additional season of competition, including financial aid implications. The committee will also discuss issues related to seasons of competition for winter student-athletes,” the email read.
The World Synchronized Skating Championships have been canceled because of the coronavirus outreak.
U.S. Figure Skating and the International Skating Union made the announcement Friday, citing concerns over the spread of the virus and the United States’ ban on travel from Europe.
The event had been scheduled for April 3-4 at Lake Placid, New York.
The World Synchronized Skating Championships had been held every year since 2000, including four times previously in the United States.
Sampdoria has announced that four more of its players have tested positive for COVID-19 as well as a club doctor.
The club says after forward Manolo Gabbiadini tested positive on Thursday, it carried out tests on defender Omar Colley, midfielder Albin Ekdal, forward Antonino La Gumina, and midfielder Morten Thorsby, who all had light symptoms, and they also tested positive.
Sampdoria says they are all in good condition in their own homes in Genoa. The same applies for club doctor Amedeo Baldari.
The rest of the team, as well as the staff and directors, are also in self-isolation at home. The club’s offices and training facilities have been closed and all sporting activity has been suspended.
The London Marathon scheduled for April 26 has been postponed to Oct. 4.
“We know how disappointing this news will be for so many — the runners who have trained for many months, the thousands of charities for which they are raising funds, and the millions who watch the race every year,” event director Hugh Brasher said.
Previously, coronavirus fears have forced the Barcelona Marathon originally scheduled this Sunday, to be postponed to Oct. 25, and the Paris Marathon on April 5 to be shifted to Oct. 18.
The Rome Marathon set for March 29 was canceled earlier.
National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman says players and staff have been told to stay away from the rink and self-isolate while the league is on a hiatus of uncertain length.
Bettman said in a phone interview Friday with the Associated Press and the league’s website that, to his knowledge, no players or league employees have tested positive for the new coronavirus. But he added that he isn’t certain there isn’t someone who might not be feeling well and is awaiting test results.
He told owners the first positive test result by any player would be a game-changer and that the decision to pause the season came after that happened in the NBA.
Unlike NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, who said his league’s season would be suspended at least 30 days, Bettman would not put a timeframe on the NHL’s break. Bettman said several contingencies are being worked on about resuming the season and still awarding the Stanley Cup, but he would not give a definitive date on when that would have to happen or how long into the summer things could go.
Bettman also said it is not the NHL’s independent call when to return to games and did not rule out the possibility of playing in empty arenas. He said games would only resume when the situation is safe.
The Real Madrid basketball player who tested positive for the coronavirus was American forward Trey Thompkins.
The positive result prompted Madrid’s basketball and soccer teams to enter quarantine because they share some facilities at the club’s training center.
Thompkins wrote on Twitter he was “feeling great and just waiting for the virus to pass.”
Spain has declared a state of emergency for two weeks to try to contain the virus.
NASCAR and IndyCar have each called off their races this weekend. NASCAR was scheduled to run Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway without spectators but said Friday it is calling off this weekend and next week’s race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
IndyCar was scheduled to open its season Sunday on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida, but suspended it’s season through the end of April. Four races are affected.
The German soccer league has suspended its season, dropping a plan to play this weekend in empty stadiums.
The league board says there is an increasing number of suspected coronavirus cases affecting German clubs.
Three second-division players have tested positive for the virus. Bundesliga club Paderborn said its coach tested negative, hours before his team was due to play Fortuna Düsseldorf, and that it was waiting for test results from an unspecified number of players.
The Masters golf tournament in Augusta, Georgia, has been postponed until a later date. Augusta National did not indicate when the Masters would be played. That means there will be no golf at least for the next month. The Masters began in 1934 and only World War II has kept it from being played. This was the biggest shoe to drop for golf. The PGA Tour already canceled the next three events leading up to the Masters. Tiger Woods was to be going after his sixth green jacket.
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Baylor University says it has told its entire baseball team and staff to self-quarantine after learning that three TSA agents in San Jose, California who tested positive for COVID-19 had “indirect contact” with the school’s travel party earlier this week. Baylor said the team will self-quarantine in Waco, Texas, or at their permanent residence. The school said no players, coaches or staff are showing any symptoms of the coronavirus.
The Giro d’Italia cycling race has been postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak.
The first three stages of the Italian race were scheduled to take place in Hungary in May but the country has banned large outdoor sporting events. Race organizer RCS Sport says the entire race was postponed after they were informed by the organizing committee of the Hungarian stages that those three legs could not be held on the scheduled dates.
RCS Sport says “all parties have agreed that they are determined to work together to enable the Giro d’Italia to depart from Hungary at a later time.”
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