The Latest: F1 CEO Chase Carey apologizes to fans
LONDON (AP) — The Latest on the coronavirus outbreak's effect on sports around the world (all times local):
Formula One CEO Chase Carey has apologized to fans for the early part of the series being called of by the coronavirus outbreak.
The Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne wasn’t canceled last week until teams and drivers forced it. A McLaren team member had tested positive and some drivers had already flown home, but F1 still waited to cancel until just before practices were scheduled to start.
The following three races in Bahrain, Vietnam and China have all been postponed.
In an open letter on the F1 website, Carey wrote: “We apologize to those fans affected by the cancellation in Australia, as well as the postponement of the other races to date. These decisions are being made ... in rapidly changing and evolving circumstances, but we believe they are the right and necessary ones. We also want to extend our thoughts to those already affected, including those in the Formula 1 family.”
On Monday, tire provider Pirelli said one of its staff tested positive for the virus and was undergoing treatment in Melbourne.
Soccer in Russia has been suspended until April 10.
The Russian league was the best attended sports competition still operating in Europe last weekend with more than 33,000 fans at one of its games.
The Russian Football Union says its board agreed to immediately suspend all competitions at a meeting Tuesday.
That follows a wave of tighter restrictions on public gatherings and events across Russia and a decision by CSKA Moscow to cancel its upcoming game against Zenit St. Petersburg.
Fans made ironic references to the virus outbreak at games last week. Fans of Zenit chanted "we’re all going to die” on Saturday and CSKA supporters displayed a banner on Sunday with the club crest and the message: “This virus is inside me. I’m its carrier.”
Hertha Berlin’s players and coaching staff are going into quarantine for 14 days after one of the players tested positive for the coronavirus.
The Bundesliga club doesn’t say which player was affected.
The team had been due to return to training on Tuesday after three days of individual exercise.
Hertha doctor Uli Schleicher says “the player complained about the usual symptoms and we immediately separated him from the group. A test then produced a positive result for the virus. All players in our squad must now stay at home for the next two weeks.”
Hertha general manager Michael Preetz says “it was to be expected that the virus would reach the team sooner or later. The most important thing now is that everyone sticks to the rules.”
The Kosovo judo team has been self-isolating as it prepares for the Tokyo Olympics.
Olympic champion Majlinda Kelmendi, four other judokas and five staff members have closed themselves in at a training center in Peja, 85 kilometers (50 miles) west of Pristina.
Kelmendi is the first athlete from Kosovo to win an Olympic gold medal.
Coach Driton Kuka is among the group. None of them has been infected by the virus.
Kosovo has had 16 coronavirus cases. All sports and other entertainment or cultural activities have been suspended in the country and schools, cafes, restaurants, gyms and pools have been closed.
The Diamond League has called off its first three track meets of the season.
The Diamond League was scheduled to start in Qatar next month. Two meets in China in May were to follow. The Diamond League says travel restrictions and disrupted preparations caused by the coronavirus outbreak have made it impossible to stage those competitions on time.
The season is now tentatively set to begin in Stockholm on May 24.
Only one of the three canceled meets has been rescheduled. The event in Shanghai is now set for Aug. 13. The meet in Qatar and the second Chinese meet have been postponed indefinitely but could be restaged after the Diamond League final in September.
The 2020 season was supposed to see a shift in how the Diamond League is run with an extended 15-meet season and fewer events at each.
China has already resumed a partial track and field schedule after the virus outbreak subsided. It was supposed to host the world indoor championships this month in Nanjing but that event was moved to 2021.
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