The Latest: Ironman World Championship cancelled

Sports

Mick Hoffman, executive director of the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association, poses for a photo, Thursday, July 16, 2020, sitting in the empty stands of the Renton School District’s Renton Memorial Stadium, which is used for high school football, soccer, and track events in Renton, Wash. Hoffman and other administrators across the country are facing difficult decisions regarding the overwhelming uncertainty of whether high school sports can go forward this fall as the clock ticks closer to the start of the 2020-21 school year with little clarity in place for an obvious and safe path moving forward for athletics. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:

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The Ironman World Championship that previously had been rescheduled is now cancelled because of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

It’s the first time in the 43-year history of the triathlon event that it won’t be run.

Ironman had previously announced that the World Championships would be moved from October to Feb. 6, 2021 and that next year would feature two world championship events. The 70.3 World Championships had been scheduled for November in New Zealand and had also been postponed to early 2021,

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The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association said Tuesday night it will move high school football to the spring as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The WIAA unveiled a four-season calendar for high school sports, moving team sports deemed moderate or high risk to the early spring. Football, volleyball, girls soccer and small-school boys soccer will be contested beginning in early March and conclude in early May.

The majority of high school sports in the state will not be permitted until after the winter break when school resumes in January. The WIAA calendar calls for the primary winter sports of basketball and wrestling to be contested between early January and conclude in early March.

Traditional spring sports including baseball, track and field, softball and boys soccer will begin in late April and conclude in late June.

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The Los Angeles Rams are deferring their fans’ season tickets for the upcoming season in brand-new SoFi Stadium to 2021.

The Rams announced the decision in an email to their season ticket holders outlining their current plans for the multibillion-dollar stadium, which is on schedule to open next month.

Fans can get a refund on their payments for 2020 seats, or they can roll over that money to next season. All single-game tickets already purchased will also be canceled and refunded because the Rams expect their stadium capacity to be limited to only about 15,000, even if fans are allowed inside SoFi at all this season.

The team also said it expects the NFL to cancel the entire preseason, which means the stadium’s first scheduled game is now the Rams’ Sunday night season opener against the Dallas Cowboys on Sept. 13.

All of the season ticket holders’ stadium seat licenses have been extended by one year. SoFi Stadium’s seat licenses will be refunded by the Rams after 50 years, essentially turning them into an interest-free loan by fans to finance construction of the stadium.

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Detroit Tigers left-hander Daniel Norris says he found out about his positive test about a month ago, but his COVID-19 symptoms were already clearing up by then.

Norris was cleared to rejoin the Detroit player pool and said he threw a bullpen session Tuesday. He has a simulated game Thursday.

Norris confirmed his positive test earlier this month to the Detroit News, but he said Tuesday he got the initial result June 23.

“That was the test we took down in Florida. I was obviously super bummed, but my symptoms had pretty much cleared up by that time,” he said. “Once the Phillies camp had that little outbreak, they shut our camp down. … I didn’t know I was positive until I got to Detroit.”

Norris said he was taking precautions while in Florida.

“It was crazy down there. Everything was like open and semi-normal, but I wasn’t partaking in all that,” he said. “I just kind of figured I was doing enough to not get it.”

Norris said his symptoms didn’t seem major at first — he woke up sweating a bit and achy — but in retrospect, he realized those symptoms may have been more significant.

“The heavy symptoms only lasted a few days,” Norris said. “A few days after that test, I was like, ‘I feel like 100%.’”

He said he sent out a message to the team telling them not to take the virus lightly.

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The NFL Players Association says 95 players are known to have tested positive for the coronavirus.

That number is up from 72 in the union’s last report on July 10.

On Monday, the NFLPA and the NFL reached agreement on COVID-19 testing as rookies begin reporting to training camps. Most veterans come in next week, though some players rehabbing injuries could report this week.

Players will be tested daily for the coronavirus for at least the first two weeks of training camp, per the league’s new testing protocols.

After two weeks of daily testing, if the positivity rate of those tests falls below 5% among players and team individuals with close access to them, testing would go to every other day. If the positivity rate doesn’t fall below that threshold, daily testing would continue until it drops.

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Storied Russian hockey club CSKA Moscow says that seven players have tested positive for the coronavirus.

The club says the unnamed players tested positive Tuesday and that none of them are displaying symptoms.

CSKA says in a statement the team has been tested for the virus each day since returning from vacation.

The announcement comes hours after another Kontinental Hockey League club, Avangard Omsk, said that it was withdrawing from a pre-season tournament following positive tests for 20 people. That figure included players and staff.

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AUSTIN, Texas — Texas will delay the start of the public high school football season for its largest schools by a month as the state grapples with a recent surge of new coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths.

Instead of starting practice Aug. 3, those schools can now start Sept. 7. The first games can be played Sept. 24, a month after the originally scheduled opening weekend.

The University Interscholastic League said it focused the delay on larger schools as many of them are in the states largest metropolitan areas, which have been hit hardest by the surge of virus cases.

Some school districts are already changing their calendars to delay the start of the academic year, or to begin the year with several weeks of online classes. The Houston school district, the largest in the state, won’t meet on campus until mid-October.

The UIL’s announcement said it also anticipates that not all schools will start at the same time and could face disruptions during the season.

“These adjustments reflect the public health situation at this time and the varying numbers of COVID-19 cases across different geographic areas of the state,” the UIL said in its announcement.

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Danielle Collins has been kicked out of World TeamTennis for breaking the league’s COVID-19 protocols.

WTT CEO Carlos Silva says Collins left The Greenbrier resort hosting all of the matches during the league’s three-week season and went out of the state of West Virginia.

“The protocols have been put in place and communicated numerous times to protect the health and safety of our players, coaches and staff,” Silva said.

Collins is a 26-year-old American who was a semifinalist at the 2019 Australian Open. She has been ranked as high as No. 23 and currently is No. 51.

She was playing for the Orlando Storm at WTT, which took all nine of its teams and put them at The Greenbrier, where the season began July 12 and ends Aug. 2.

The WTT is not affiliated with the WTA or ATP professional tours, which have been suspended since March because of the coronavirus pandemic and plan to resume next month.

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The tournament that was supposed to mark the official return of men’s professional tennis amid the coronavirus pandemic has been canceled.

The Citi Open in Washington, scheduled to start with Aug. 13 qualifying, was called off Tuesday because of what tournament manager Mark Ein said are “too many unresolved external issues, including various international travel restrictions as well as troubling health and safety trends.”

The men’s and women’s pro tours both have been suspended since March and are planning to return next month. The first event on the most recently announced calendar is a women’s tournament in Palermo, Italy, starting Aug. 3.

With Washington’s hard-court tournament now gone, the first chance for men to play sanctioned matches will be the Masters-level event usually played in Cincinnati that was moved to the site of the U.S. Open, starting Aug. 22.

That is to be followed by the U.S. Open, beginning Aug. 31.

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A Russian team playing in the Kontinental Hockey League has withdrawn from a pre-season tournament after 20 people from the club tested positive for the coronavirus.

Avangard Omsk general manager Alexei Volkov says the positive tests come from players and members of team staff who were tested during training camp. Volkov adds that the people are in isolation and that most don’t have obvious symptoms.

Avangard was scheduled to play in a pre-season tournament from Aug. 4-9 in Sochi.

The last KHL season was cut short midway through the playoffs when the coronavirus pandemic made international travel difficult.

The KHL is aiming to start the new season on Sept. 2 and expects to finalize the calendar after a board meeting scheduled for next week.

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Swimming governing body FINA is giving almost $6.5 million to help athletes prepare for the postponed Tokyo Olympics.

FINA says it wants to help athletes who “endure hardships related to their training and competitive opportunities due to the pandemic.”

The plan includes $4 million for at least 160 national federations to support athletes with expenses for training, competitions and living over the next year.

A further $2 million will support 100 scholarships for athletes who currently do not have Olympic qualifying standards to prepare at national or continental centers. FINA supports regional bases in Russia, Senegal, Thailand and the United States.

Grants totalling $460,000 will go to continental swimming bodies to distribute.

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The ISTAF track meet in Berlin has outlined plans to have up to 3,500 spectators in attendance on Sept. 13.

Organizers say they have developed a wide-ranging plan to ensure spectators stay healthy but haven’t revealed specifics. They were hoping for up to 45,000 fans at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin before the pandemic.

Meet director Martin Seeber says he hopes it will be “a first small step back to normality.”

Pole vault world record holder Armand “Mondo” Duplantis is headlining the event.

The announcement comes as other European track meets plan to bring fans back. Tickets are on sale for the Diamond League meet in Monaco next month and organizers in Lausanne are staging a pole vault competition in the city which could have 5,000 fans if Swiss authorities agree.

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This season’s Scottish Cup final will be played midway through next season.

The Scottish soccer federation says the pandemic-delayed competition will be completed on Dec. 20. That is more than seven months after the original date for the final on May 9.

The competition was stopped at the semifinal stage. Defending champion Celtic will play Aberdeen and Edinburgh rivals Hearts and Hibernian will meet in the other semifinal on the weekend of Oct. 31-Nov. 1 at Hampden Park in Glasgow.

Organizers say players who would ordinarily be barred from playing for a second team in the same competition can play for their new club even if they were earlier fielded by a different team.

The 2020-21 season in the Scottish league will start on Aug. 1. The 2019-20 league season did not resume after the lockdown and Celtic was declared champion based on average points per game.

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