Coronavirus: Here’s what’s happening in the sports world on Friday

Coronavirus: Here’s what’s happening in the sports world on Friday

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

Russia says ‘turn a new page’ on doping ban

International authorities should “turn a new page” and forget Russia’s Olympic doping ban because of the coronavirus pandemic, the country’s sports minister said Friday.

The World Anti-Doping Agency barred Russia from the Olympics for four years after ruling last year that doping data from a Moscow laboratory had been manipulated. The Court of Arbitration for Sport is to rule on whether the ban is valid, but hearings have been delayed because of the health crisis.

Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin said the virus outbreak means the parties in the legal proceedings should avoid a ruling against Russia because it would fracture the Olympic movement.

“The leaders of the International Olympic Committee, the World Anti-Doping Agency and the judges who will decide the ruling should understand that now we’re living in completely different conditions and this crisis which has been created, including the crisis in relationships, should probably come to an end, turn a new page and understand that the main thing right now is to be together,” he said.

World Athletics president offers hope of track & field season

World Athletics president Sebastian Coe is still hoping that a belated outdoor athletics season can be staged from August to October this year, he said on Friday.

Like all sport around the world, athletics is at a standstill because of the coronavirus pandemic with little indication of when it will be able to resume.

“We know that different countries are at different stages of managing this pandemic so we are trying to give a structure to our athletes and member federations so they can begin to plan for the year ahead,” Coe said in a World Athletics statement.

“If it is at all possible, we will schedule a belated outdoor season from August to October to help our athletes to figure out where they stand after the disruption of this year.”

World Athletics has set aside the weekend of Aug. 9-10 as the protected window for national championships.

Turkmenistan’s soccer league to resume April 19

The Central Asian nation will become part of a small group of countries around the world where professional soccer is being played despite the virus outbreak. That includes the former Soviet nations of Belarus and Tajikistan, as well as Burundi and Nicaragua.

The eight-team Turkmenistan league was suspended on March 24. The national soccer federation says it will resume on April 19. Fans will be allowed to attend games.

Turkmenistan has not reported any cases of the coronavirus.

MLB players to compete in virtual season

Blake Snell, Juan Soto and Bo Bichette are among the baseball stars switching over to PlayStation with America’s pastime on hold.

Thirty big leaguers — one from each team — have signed on to play a round-robin regular season on the MLB The Show video game with the real season on hold due to the novel coronavirus.

Snell, a Cy Young Award winner with Tampa Bay, will face Cincinnati reliever Amir Garrett in the opener Friday night. That matchup will air on Snell’s Twitch feed, and other games will be streamed via Twitch and YouTube with MLB Network host Robert Flores providing commentary.

Players will complete a 29-game regular season — one three-inning contest against each team — through April. The top eight teams will qualify for the post-season, expected to mirror MLB’s current format.

Published at Fri, 10 Apr 2020 13:42:40 +0000