The latest on how the coronavirus outbreak is affecting sports around the globe:
Lewis Hamilton goes into self-isolation
Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton says he has been self-isolating for more than a week after meeting people who later tested positive for the new coronavirus.
Hamilton was at a charity event in London on March 4 also attended by actor Idris Elba and Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, the wife of the Canadian prime minister. Both were later found to have the virus.
In a message on social media, Hamilton says he’s shown “zero symptoms” but has been isolating himself from other people ever since March 13, when the Australian Grand Prix was called off.
Hamilton said that “I did speak to my doctor and double checked if I needed to take a test but, the truth is there is a limited amount of tests available and there are people who need it more than I do.”
USA Swimming pushes for Olympic postponement
USA Swimming’s CEO is urging the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee to push for the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics until next year.
Tim Hinchey wrote to USOPC CEO Sarah Hirshland to advocate on behalf of his governing body’s 400,000 members.
Hinchey said athletes’ worlds have been turned “upside down” as they struggle to find ways to continue preparing and training for the games. He wrote that “pressing forward amidst the global health crisis this summer is not the answer.”
Because of the disruptions in training, Hinchey said going ahead with the Olympics this year “calls into question the authenticity of a level playing field for all.”
U.S. Olympic committee says too soon to decide about Tokyo Games
Leaders of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee say it’s still too soon to decide about whether the Tokyo Games should go on as scheduled.
Uncertainties caused by the coronavirus have pushed many athletes to call for a postponement of the Games. But the USOPC leaders sounded a lot like their colleagues at the IOC. They call for patience and say they need more information from world health experts before doing anything drastic. They also acknowledged the uncertainty is taking its toll.
The USOPC is increasing the availability of mental and emotional counselling for athletes who have seen their Olympic hopes thrown into limbo.
XFL ends inaugural season
The XFL has cancelled the remainder of its return season because of the new coronavirus pandemic.
The league played five games of a 10-game regular season in eight cities. It was a revival of the XFL that played one season in 2001.
Commissioner Oliver Luck released a statement saying the league had “no choice but to officially cancel the remainder of the 2020 season. This decision has been made with the health and safety of the entire XFL family as our top priority.”
“While we are disappointed to not complete the 2020 season,” Luck added, “our hearts are full of appreciation for your overwhelming support.”
B.C. rugby 7s tournament postponed
World Rugby has postponed the women’s sevens tournament in Langford, B.C., as well as men’s events in London and Paris due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Rugby’s governing body has also cancelled the World Rugby under-20 Championship, scheduled for late June and July in northern Italy — one of the areas hardest hit by the virus.
The Olympic Games repechage qualification tournament scheduled for June is “under review.”
Canada has already qualified its men’s and women’s teams for the Tokyo Games. The postponements means there are no men’s or women’s sevens tournaments on the schedule in advance of the Olympics
Canadian Premier League postpones start of 2020 season
The Canadian Premier League has postponed the start of the 2020 season, with no replacement kickoff date as of yet.
The Canadian pro league was set to start its second season on April 11.
The league said it was following Canada Soccer’s decision to suspend all sanctioned soccer activities — and COVID-19 directives by governments and health officials banning public gatherings.
Commissioner David Clanachan said the league will start the season when it is declared safe by the relevant health and government agencies, including Canada Soccer.
The CPL put a 14-day on all pre-season training last Friday. Players with expansion Atletico Ottawa, who had been training in Spain at parent club Atletico Madrid, have since returned and are now in self-isolation.