Update on the latest sports

VIRUS OUTBREAK-SPORTS

More criticism as Olympic officials prepare for Tokyo Games

UNDATED (AP) — Calls for the postponement of the upcoming Tokyo Olympics continue to grow louder.

A worldwide group representing Olympic hopefuls is calling on the IOC to postpone the Tokyo Olympics until the coronavirus pandemic is under control. In a news release Sunday, Global Athlete said: “As the world unites to limit the spread of Covid-19 virus, the IOC … must do the same.”

The show of solidarity among Olympic hopefuls adds to the dozens of individual athletes who have come out against the IOC’s current stance, which is to start the games as scheduled on July 24.

The leader of track’s international federation says there’s no need to hold the Tokyo Olympics at any cost, adding that a decision about the future of the games “may become very obvious very quickly in the coming days and weeks.” World Athletics president Seb Coe said the Olympic world is managing the coronavirus day by day and “increasingly hour by hour.”

USA Track and Field CEO Max Siegel urged the federation to advocate for the postponement of the Games, which are to start July 24. The track federation joins USA Swimming, which sent a similar letter to the USOPC on Thursday.

A board member of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee countered leadership by criticizing the IOC amid concerns of the coronavirus pandemic. Board member and former USA bobsledder Steve Mesler wrote in a blog Friday that the IOC … “has not shown the leadership we Olympians desire out of those who are in charge.”

Brazil’s Olympic Committee has called for the Tokyo Games to be postponed until 2021. The Brazilian body said in a statement published on Saturday that the decision is a necessity due to the seriousness of the pandemic and “the consequent difficulty for athletes to keep their best competitive level.”

Similarly, the Norwegian Olympic Committee says the Games shouldn’t take place until the coronavirus outbreak “is under firm control” worldwide.

The IOC is in consultation with the World Health Organization and has stuck to the position that it’s too early for drastic decisions.

In other virus-related developments:

— A second Ottawa Senators player has tested positive for COVID-19. The player was part of the recent road trip that included NHL games in San Jose, Anaheim and Los Angeles. Of the 52 people in the Senators’ traveling party, 44 have shown no symptoms and eight have been tested. Everyone on the California trip was instructed to self-quarantine on March 13.

— The International Ice Hockey Federation has canceled the men’s world hockey championships amid health concerns and travel bans. The 16-team tournament was to be held in Switzerland in May.

— Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton says he has been self-isolating for more than a week and showing no symptoms of the coronavirus. Hamilton was at a charity event in London on March 4 also attended by actor Idris Elba and Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, the wife of the Canadian prime minister. Both were later found to have the virus. Hamilton said he hasn’t been tested because test kits are in short supply and “there are people who need it more than I do.”

— Former Real Madrid president Lorenzo Sanz has died at age 76 from the new coronavirus, according to his family. He had been in intensive care since the beginning of the week while being treated for the virus. Sanz presided over Madrid from 1995 until 2000, leading the club to two European titles, a Spanish league championship and a Spanish Super Cup crown.

— AC Milan great Paolo Maldini has tested positive for COVID-19. The team says the 51-year-old Maldini became aware of contact with a person who subsequently tested positive for coronavirus and began to display symptoms of the virus himself. Maldini serves as Milan’s technical director.

— Paulo Dybala is the third Juventus player to test positive for COVID-19. Juventus says the Argentine soccer playmaker is in voluntary home isolation in Italy and is asymptomatic.

— The president of Mexico’s Liga MX soccer league has tested positive for coronavirus. League President Enrique Bonilla said in a statement Friday that he doesn’t have serious symptoms but will remain in isolation and keep up with the situation of Mexican first-division soccer.

— A member of the Canadian Football League’s B.C. Lions operations department has tested positive for COVID-19. The person has not been named and is currently at home in isolation.

— Gulfstream Park has dropped purses for its seven stakes races on Florida Derby day by 20.5%. Track officials say the changes for next Saturday were necessitated by the loss of on-track handle and revenue from the track’s casino.

— Just hours after the Australian government called for its citizens to cancel all non-essential travel, the Australian rules Australian Football League announced it was postponing its seasons until May 31. Australia’s various football leagues were among the few remaining professional sports playing on across the globe in its attempts to halt the spread of the virus.

NFL-NEWS

Rivers signs with Colts

UNDATED (AP) — Philip Rivers has officially ended his 16-year tenure with the Chargers by signing the $25 million deal with the Indianapolis Colts he agreed to earlier this week.

The 38-year-old quarterback thinks he has plenty to offer even after one of his worst seasons. Rivers threw 23 touchdown passes last season, his lowest total since 2007. His 20 interceptions in 2019, match the second-highest total of his career. But now, with a fresh start, a strong running game and one of the league’s top offensive lines, Rivers insists he will prove the critics wrong this season.

The eight-time Pro Bowler said in a conference call Saturday that he knows he can still play at a high level.

In other NFL news:

— The Raiders have agreed to a one-year contract with free agent receiver Nelson Agholor (AG’-oh-lohr), according to a person familiar with the deal. The person also said the Raiders agreed to a one-year deal to keep backup running back Rod Smith. Offensive lineman Eric Kush also confirmed that he agreed to a deal with the Raiders, and tight end Nick O’Leary’s agency said its client has a deal in place with the team.

— Saints general manager Mickey Loomis says free-agent wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders has agreed to a two-year contract with the team. The 5-foot-11 Sanders caught 36 passes for 502 yards and three touchdowns for the 49ers last season. His contract is said to be worth about $16 million with bonuses that could push the total value as high as $19 million.

— Running back Kenyan Drake has agreed to sign his one-year, $8.5 million tender to stay with the Cardinals. The 26-year-old Drake came to Arizona in a mid-season trade from the Miami Dolphins. He ran for 643 yards and eight touchdowns in eight games with the Cardinals, including a four-TD game against the Browns in Week 15.

— The New York Jets continued to address their offensive line in free agency. Two people with direct knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press that the Jets and former Carolina Panthers guard Greg Van Roten have agreed to terms on a three-year contract. That came a few hours after agent Brett Tessler announced the Jets agreed to terms with veteran offensive lineman Josh Andrews. New York also released cornerback Darryl Roberts after four seasons. Another person with direct knowledge of the deal said New York and former Los Angeles Rams safety Marqui Christian agreed to terms on a one-year deal worth up to $2 million.

— A person with knowledge of the deal tells The Associated Press that the Denver Broncos have agreed to a two-year contract with free agent tight end Nick Vannett. The fifth-year pro from Ohio State played for Seattle and Pittsburgh last season. Vannett’s deal with Denver is worth nearly $6 million. Vannett will serve as the No. 2 tight end in Denver behind 2019 first-round draft pick Noah Fant. His addition could spell the end of tight end Jeff Heuerman’s time with the Broncos.

— The Chicago Bears and cornerback Artie Burns agreed to a one-year contract, according to agent Drew Rosenhaus.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL-DUKE-JONES

Duke guard Tre Jones declares for NBA draft

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Duke sophomore Tre Jones says he will enter the NBA draft.

The point guard was named to the third team of The Associated Press All-America team on Friday after being named Atlantic Coast Conference player of the year by the league and runner-up for the same award from the AP.

Jones averaged 16.2 points and 6.4 assists for the Blue Devils, the highlight being his buzzer-beating shot off his own intentionally missed free throw to force overtime in a wild comeback win at North Carolina on Feb. 8.

Categories: National Sports