Update on the latest sports

TRANSGENDER ATHLETES-HIGH SCHOOL

Connecticut transgender policy found to violate Title Nine

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The U.S. Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights has found a Connecticut policy that allows transgender athletes to compete in girls sports is illegal. The office says the policy violates Title IX, the federal civil rights law guarantees equal education opportunities for women, including in athletics.

The ruling was obtained Thursday by The Associated Press. It comes in response to a complaint filed last year by several female track athletes, who argued that two transgender runners who were identified as male at birth had an unfair physical advantage.  The dispute also is the subject of a federal lawsuit.

The Office for Civil Rights said in a 45-page letter that it may seek to withhold federal funding over the policy, which allows transgender athletes to participate as the gender with which they identify. The letter, dated May 15, says the policy has “denied female student-athletes athletic benefits and opportunities, including advancing to the finals in events, higher level competitions, awards, medals, recognition, and the possibility of greater visibility to colleges and other benefits.”

The Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference, which oversees scholastic sports in the state, has said its policy is designed to comply with the state’s law barring schools from discriminating against transgender students.

NASCAR-CHARLOTTE

Rained-out Cup rescheduled

CONCORD, N.C. (AP) — NASCAR’s second Cup race of the week at Charlotte Motor Speedway has been rescheduled for Thursday night, after getting rained out Wednesday.

The starting order for the second Cup race at Charlotte this week was set based on the finishing order of the Coca-Cola 600 but with an inversion. Hendrick Motorsports teammates William Byron and Alex Bowman will start from the pole, while Coca-Cola 600 winner Brad Keselowski will start 20th.

The postponement also pushes back the upcoming Xfinity race from Thursday to Monday.

The second consecutive Wednesday night race would have been the fourth for the elite Cup Series since May 17.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-SPORTS

AP Exclusive: Athletes wary about virus, testing upon return

UNDATED (AP) — Reporters from The Associated Press have spoken to more than two dozen athletes from around the globe to get a sense of how concerned or confident they are about resuming competition amid the coronavirus pandemic. What emerged was a sense that they are going through the very same sort of calculus that much of the rest of society is.

They are trying to figure out what is safe and how to stay healthy. They are wary about the sufficiency of COVID-19 testing and other precautions that leagues, unions and governing bodies will institute as they develop their own protocols.

For those in sports such as golf or tennis that require international travel, there are questions about how easy it will be to hop from country to country — and how easy it’ll be to avoid catching or spreading the virus.

Nearly unanimous was a wariness about enough COVID-19 testing — what types, how many, how often — and other precautions that leagues, unions and governing bodies might institute as they develop protocols.

In other news related to the coronavirus pandemic:

— The English Premier League’s official broadcasters say the competition will restart on June 17. The BBC and Sky Sports say there will be a doubleheader on that day with Manchester City playing Arsenal and Aston Villa hosting Sheffield United. Playing those make-up games on a Wednesday will ensure the 30th round can be contested the following weekend. The last match was played on March 9 before the competition was suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic. Squads were only allowed to restart practice sessions in small groups last week but contact and tackling is now allowed between players.

— Three players from English soccer clubs Blackburn and Fulham have tested positive for the coronavirus. Blackburn says captain Elliott Bennett was found to be infected with COVID-19 after testing negative last Friday. Bennett says he doesn’t “feel unwell” and doesn’t have any symptoms. Fulham says two players tested positive but did not name them. The positive cases at the second-division clubs came after tests on 1,030 players and staff from Monday to Wednesday. The three players will have to self-isolate for seven days before returning to training ahead of a potential resumption of the competition.

— The Hungarian soccer federation says matches in the country can once again be held with spectators in the stadiums. The announcement comes on the back of a government decree allowing the option. Organizers are obliged to keep three seats empty between each occupied seat and no fan may sit directly behind or in front of another. Players and essential personnel on or near the field during matches must recently have tested negative for the coronavirus. The federation says clubs can decide on their own whether they want to play in front of fans again.

— The postponed Belgian Cup final has been rescheduled for Aug. 1. That is one week before the start of the league’s next season. Belgian soccer authorities say the match between Club Brugge and Antwerp will take place in an empty King Baudouin Stadium. All sporting competitions in Belgium have been suspended until July 31. The new season is set to start on Aug. 7.

— Elite sports made a comeback in Australia for the first time since March 22 as the Parramatta Eels beat the Brisbane Broncos 34-6 in the National Rugby League Thursday. No fans were allowed into the 52,500-seat stadium in Brisbane because of strict social distancing rules but the game was broadcast across Australia.

— The European Tour is planning to resume its season close to home. The tour says it has targeted the British Masters in England on July 22 as the restart. That would be followed by five new tournaments in England and Wales that will be called the “U.K. Swing.” The new events will have a prize fund of 1 million euros. European Tour chief Keith Pelley says the plans depend on the U.K. lifting quarantine restrictions, but he’s confident that will happen. The PGA Championship in San Francisco falls right in the middle of the U.K. Swing. 

— The Dutch Grand Prix has become the fourth Formula One race canceled this season because of the coronavirus pandemic. Organizers of the first Dutch GP since 1985 chose not to host it without spectators. F1 wants to start the season in July with no spectators at races. Race director Jan Lammers says they want to celebrate the return of F1 in Zandvoort with fans in attendance. The race was set for May 3 and initially postponed. Fans who bought tickets can use them next year.

Categories: National Sports