The professional tennis calendar lost more events on Wednesday when the men’s and women’s tours announced the cancellation of tournaments through June 7. That wiped out high-profile tournaments in Madrid and Rome, as well as women’s tournaments in Strasbourg, France, and Rabat, Morocco, and men’s events in Munich, Germany; Estoril, Portugal; Geneva; and Lyon, France.
The Women’s Tennis Association, which represents female players, and the Association of Tennis Professionals, which represents the men, issued identically worded statements to announce that the spring clay-court swing would be canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic. All events in the ATP Challenger Tour and the International Tennis Federation World Tennis Tour also were canceled.
The men’s and women’s rankings will be frozen during this period of inactivity and until further notice, the statement said.
First NHL player tests positive
The NHL has its first known case of the new coronavirus after an Ottawa Senators player tested positive.
The team announced late Tuesday that an unidentified player had tested positive for COVID-19. The Senators said the player has mild symptoms and is in isolation, and that other players are being tested under the supervision of medical authorities.
Ottawa players, coaches and others have been advised to remain isolated, monitor their health and seek advice from team medical staff. The NHL is not mandating testing.
NHL Players’ Association spokesman Jonathan Weatherdon said the union has been in contact with Senators players about the situation.
Reds’ employee tests positive
An employee who works year-round at the Reds spring training complex in Goodyear, Arizona, has tested positive for the new coronavirus, but no Cincinnati players have been diagnosed with the illness.
The employee was in contact with Reds staff and players from Feb. 29 to March 14 and is self-quarantined in Arizona. Some Reds employees who were in Goodyear and had contact with the infected employee were tested as a precaution Wednesday in Cincinnati.
Major league and minor league players were informed of the positive test and urged to contact the team if they feel ill. So far, none has reported any symptoms, said Dick Williams, president of baseball operations.
The Reds employee in Goodyear began feeling sick over the weekend and went for testing.
Doping tests scaled back
Although anti-doping organizations around the world are dialing back on testing because of the coronavirus outbreak, Olympic athletes can still expect a knock on the door.
The International Olympic Committee has said it remains “fully committed” to opening the Tokyo Games on July 24, so testers are still visiting some athletes at a time when many people are trying to avoid social contact.
“Starting immediately, testing done by USADA will be focused only upon mission-critical testing of those in sports still competing and as needed for those preparing for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games,” Travis Tygart, the CEO of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, said in a video statement announcing cuts to its testing program.
The National Anti-Doping Agency of Germany is also cutting its testing, and signaled that calling off the Olympics would allow it to cut further.
Britain and Austria’s agencies have also announced significant reductions.
The Russian anti-doping agency, known as RUSADA, said it is still running a full program of out-of-competition tests despite having its office staff work from home.
Various agencies have said they will respect an athlete’s wish to self-isolate but different countries require different types of proof.
UCI president hopes races
can commence in autumn
The president of the International Cycling Union hopes the Giro d’Italia and other races postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak can go ahead later this year.
Four one-day classic races to be held next month were canceled this week.
The Paris-Roubaix cobblestone race, the Fleche Wallonne, Liege-Bastogne-Liege and the Amstel Gold race have all been called off.
The Strade Bianche and Milan-San Remo were already postponed along with the Giro, which was to start on May 9.
UCI president David Lappartient told French television on Wednesday that he has “good hope” several races can still go ahead.
Spanish soccer clubs
report slew of cases
Spanish soccer team Alavés said that 15 people in its club have become infected with the coronavirus: three players, seven members of the coaching staff and five other employees. The club had already reported that two members of its staff were infected.
Rival teams Valencia and Espanyol said earlier this week that their clubs have also been hit by the virus.
Valencia said Monday that 35 percent of its squad and coaching staff are infected, while Espanyol said on Tuesday that six members of its squad and staff have it.
All three clubs said their infected members are in good health.