UNDATED (AP) — There’s a growing possibility the Tokyo Olympics won’t begin in late July as scheduled due to the new coronavirus.
The International Olympic Committee now says it will consider the possibility of postponing the Summer Games. The IOC issued a statement saying it will hold four weeks of discussions with global sports officials and Japanese authorities to examine the options. It says the “scenario planning” will include the possibility of changing the July 24 start date for the Games, but that “cancellation is not on the agenda.”
The announcement came after IOC President Thomas Bach led a conference call with executive board members.
The leader of the international track federation has sent a letter to Bach saying holding the Olympics in July “is neither feasible nor desirable” with the coronavirus impacting huge swaths of the globe.
The Canadian Olympic Committee has made the strongest objection yet to an Olympics this summer, announcing it will not send a team to Tokyo unless the games are postponed for a year. Canada is the first country to threaten such a move in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.
UNDATED (AP) — Toronto Blue Jays President Mark Shapiro says he thinks Major League Baseball would need at least a month of workouts and exhibition games before regular season play can begin.
Opening day has been postponed until at least mid-May because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Shapiro cautioned that training camps aren’t likely to open for some time because of the outbreak. All but three of Toronto’s major league players have left the team’s spring training site in Dunedin, Florida. Shapiro says no Blue Jays players or staff have displayed any symptoms of the new coronavirus, and that no one has been tested.
Shapiro spoke to reporters on Sunday from his home in Toronto.
— The St. Louis Blues say a relative of a team employee has tested positive for COVID-19. The person is in self-isolation along with members of the person’s family, according to the team. All Blues staff who may have come into close contact with the employee have been notified. The team says it is asking for all members of the Blues to remain isolated, monitor their health and seek advice from team medical staff.
— 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 still playing across the globe.
— The $12 million Dubai World Cup, the world’s richest purse in horse racing, will be postponed until next year. That’s according to a governmental agency. Officials had planned to run the race March 28 without spectators.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — New Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Michael Pierce considers himself one of the 10 strongest players in the NFL. The Vikings will need his strength. They’re remaking a defense from which five starters and three key backups have departed. Pierce spent his first four seasons in the league with the Baltimore Ravens. He was undrafted out of FCS program Samford before muscling his way into the lineup. Pierce was held out of minicamp practices last spring by the Ravens because he was overweight before getting back in better shape. He says he overlooked his conditioning while focusing too much on weightlifting.