The Latest: Sports in France not among government priorities Hungarian lawmakers approved a state of emergency on March 30 without an end-date. That gave the government the right to rule by decree on issues related to the pandemic for as long as it considers it necessary.___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6 Wembley Stadium in London will stage both the men’s and women’s European finals.UEFA says the rescheduled women’s tournament will retain the same 10 stadiums. It opens with England playing at Old Trafford in Manchester.___A decree issued by the Hungarian government allows most professional sports clubs and soccer teams to cut the salaries of players and other personnel like managers and trainers by up to 70%.The decree signed by Prime Minister Viktor Orban says the wage cuts can be implemented for as long as the state of emergency declared because of the coronavirus pandemic remains in effect. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___French Sports Minister Roxana Maracineanu says the resumption of sporting events in the country is not among the government’s priorities. Maracineanu is a former Olympic swimmer. She says “it wouldn’t be the end of the world” if the Tour de France has to be canceled.___UEFA has postponed next year’s women’s European Championship soccer tournament to July 2022.The UEFA executive committee decided the new dates for the 16-nation tournament in England will be July 6-31.The switch was made after UEFA and the IOC decided last month on one-year postponements for Euro 2020 and the Tokyo Olympics. Britain, the Netherlands and Sweden will play in the women’s soccer tournament at the Olympics. Associated Press April 23, 2020 France is locked down until May 11 because of the coronavirus pandemic and speculation has increased recently as to whether the country’s soccer league could resume in late June.Maracineanu says “what’s certain is that sports won’t take priority in our society.”The Tour de France cycling race has been rescheduled to start Aug. 29 and end Sept. 20. The final day coincides with the same day the rescheduled French Open tennis tournament is to begin.Maracineanu was speaking in an interview with Eurosport television on Wednesday night. She says leagues could potentially start in September or have their remaining games canceled altogether. There are 10 league games left to play in France’s top two soccer leagues. Rugby’s Top 14 league has reached the semifinal stage.Public gatherings are banned in France until at least mid-July but Maracineanu says they could be extended until “at least September.”
The Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon, on June 7 and the meet in Paris on June 13 have both postponed with no new dates set. The Bislett Games in Oslo on June 11 will be rebranded as the Impossible Games and turned into an exhibition event.The first nine scheduled events of the 15-meet season have all now either been postponed, rescheduled or downgraded. The Anniversary Games in London on July 4 are now the earliest scheduled competition of the season.There is a larger window to reschedule meets in the second half of the year because the Tokyo Olympics have been postponed to 2021.Organizers said the meet in Oslo would still offer prize money from a $50,000 contribution by World Athletics. It will feature 400-meter hurdles world champion Karsten Warholm attempting a world record in the rarely raced 300 hurdles.___ UEFA’s own club competitions remain incomplete.___German soccer could resume on May 9 if regional politicians sign off on the league’s plan.The state governors of Bavaria and North Rhine-Westphalia have said May 9 would be acceptable but other state officials have signaled they would prefer the middle or end of May.League CEO Christian Seifert says “if the state governors and the federal government decide that this day is May 9, then we would be ready on May 9.” Associated Press The Premier League has been suspended since March 13. That was the day after Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta tested positive for the virus.Moyes had to self-isolate after that because he had come into close contact with Arteta days earlier.___It’s still not clear when baseball or soccer will resume in Japan but it will likely be without fans when it does.That was the decision when the heads of Japanese professional baseball and soccer met in online meetings. The Latest: Tsitsipas, Serena’s coach raise money for tennis Public gatherings are banned in France until at least mid-July but Maracineanu says they could be extended until “at least September.”Maracineanu is a former Olympic swimmer. She says “it wouldn’t be the end of the world” if the Tour de France has to be canceled.___UEFA has postponed next year’s women’s European Championship soccer tournament to July 2022.The UEFA executive committee decided the new dates for the 16-nation tournament in England will be July 6-31. Japanese baseball commissioner Atsushi Saito says “my feelings that I want to start the season without spectators haven’t changed.”Baseball and soccer officials both agreed nothing could begin until a state of emergency was lifted in Japan. The earliest that can happen is May 6. They are expected to wait until that date before moving forward.The J-League’s top two soccer divisions were suspended in February. Japanese baseball played some preseason games without fans before all play was stopped.___Three more Diamond League meetings will not go ahead as scheduled because of the coronavirus pandemic. ___UEFA says it will allow leagues to determine the final places for Champions League and Europa League qualification on “sporting merit” if they can’t resume during the coronavirus pandemic.The governing body of European soccer says qualification from a “prematurely terminated domestic competition” can be rejected if “there is a public perception of unfairness in the qualification of the club.”UEFA says it is ideal for countries to complete seasons but acknowledges that might not be possible because of government orders banning sporting events.UEFA also accepts “insurmountable economic problems” could make finishing seasons “impossible because it would put at risk the long-term financial stability of the domestic competition and/or clubs.” Seifert says games could be held with a limit of 213 people in the stadium and up to 109 in the surrounding area.___UEFA is sharing almost 70 million euros ($75.5 million) among 676 clubs that released players for European Championship qualifiers and Nations League games in the past two years.UEFA says it’s releasing the money early to help “in light of the current crisis and the financial difficulties many clubs are facing” during the coronavirus pandemic.A long-standing agreement between UEFA and the European Club Association guarantees clubs at least 200 million euros (216 million) from Euro 2020 revenues to compensate for releasing players to national duty in the 2018-20 cycle. April 23, 2020 West Ham manager David Moyes has been delivering fruit and vegetables to elderly residents in his village during soccer’s lockdown amid the coronavirus outbreak.The former Manchester United coach says he saw a sign in the window of a local shop asking for volunteers to be delivery drivers.Moyes answered the call and says “all I was doing was dropping (the packages) at the door, knocking and then going away. It was beautiful big boxes of fruit and veg.”He also had to ask some residents for payment if they hadn’t done so online.Moyes says one incident “with this particular older lady, I think it was 16.80 pounds ($20.70) for one box of fruit and veg. She gave me a 20-pound note and said, ‘Here son, just keep the change.’” Payments were due after Euro 2020 but are now sending much-needed cash to clubs after the coronavirus outbreak forced the tournament to be postponed by one year.The highest-earning club will get 630,000 euros ($680,000) calculated pro rata per player named on a national team’s match sheet. That club was not identified.UEFA says 2.7 million euros ($2.9 million) of the money will go to clubs after the 16-nation Euro 2020 playoffs later this year.Players selected for the Euro 2020 tournament will earn at least 130 million euros ($140 million) more for their clubs from UEFA.___ The German anti-doping agency says it plans to test soccer players if the season resumes in empty stadiums.NADA spokeswoman Eva Bunthoff tells The Associated Press the agency has “developed concepts” for urine and blood tests at games.The German league hopes to resume next month after a two-month shutdown because of the coronavirus pandemic.Bunthoff adds the agency is talking with the German soccer federation and the men’s league. She says “most important are the security measures to make sure there is a proper prevention system in place to prevent infections with the virus.“___ The decree signed by Prime Minister Viktor Orban says the wage cuts can be implemented for as long as the state of emergency declared because of the coronavirus pandemic remains in effect.Hungarian lawmakers approved a state of emergency on March 30 without an end-date. That gave the government the right to rule by decree on issues related to the pandemic for as long as it considers it necessary.___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6 Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___Serena Williams’ coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, and 2019 Australian Open semifinalist Stefanos Tsitsipas are starting an auction to raise money for tennis players ranked outside the top 100 and in need of financial help during the coronavirus pandemic. Mouratoglou and Tsitsipas tweeted about Beyond 100 Support on Thursday.They say the funds will go to professionals in both men’s and women’s tennis.Most tennis players only make money when they are able to enter tournaments. But all tennis events are suspended at least until mid-July because of the COVID-19 outbreak.___The New York Jets and team chairman and CEO Christopher Johnson and his family are making an additional $2 million donation to support the COVID-19 relief response in New York and New Jersey. Churchill Downs will recognize the first Saturday in May with a “Kentucky Derby at Home” online party, highlighted by a virtual Derby featuring 13 former Triple Crown winners in an effort to raise $2 million for COVID-19 relief.The 146th Kentucky Derby was postponed from May 2 to Sept. 5 because of public health concerns about pandemic, the first time horse racing’s marquee event won’t run on its traditional day since 1945. The computer-generated Derby created by Inspired Entertainment will feature past Triple Crown champions using data algorithms, including historical handicapping information for each horse to determine the probability of potential finishing positions.“Our fans will be captivated by the realistic view of the virtual race,” Churchill Downs president Kevin Flanery said in a release, “and we can debate, as we do each year, our favorite to win.”Fans can choose their horse on www.KentuckyDerby.com starting April 30 and donate to COVID-19 relief efforts. Churchill Downs will match donations up to $1 million for the Team Kentucky Fund and Direct Relief.Participants who choose the winner will have the chance to win a Kentucky Derby VIP Experience. The virtual Derby will be shown May 2 on NBC during a special broadcast featuring the 2015 Kentucky Derby, when American Pharoah began his Triple Crown run. French Sports Minister Roxana Maracineanu says the resumption of sporting events in the country is not among the government’s priorities.France is locked down until May 11 because of the coronavirus pandemic and speculation has increased recently as to whether the country’s soccer league could resume in late June.Maracineanu says “what’s certain is that sports won’t take priority in our society.”The Tour de France cycling race has been rescheduled to start Aug. 29 and end Sept. 20. The final day coincides with the same day the rescheduled French Open tennis tournament is to begin.Maracineanu was speaking in an interview with Eurosport television on Wednesday night. She says leagues could potentially start in September or have their remaining games canceled altogether. There are 10 league games left to play in France’s top two soccer leagues. Rugby’s Top 14 league has reached the semifinal stage. The Johnson family and the Jets last month made a joint $1 million donation to multiple local United Way agencies to help combat the pandemic.The latest contribution, announced by the Jets on Thursday, will provide funding to organizations that are focused primarily on food insecurity, first responders and regional relief.“No region in the country has been affected by COVID-19 more than ours and because of that, our resolve has only grown,” Johnson said in a statement. “These organizations continue to nourish the vulnerable and target the needs of those on our front lines. At no time has being a good teammate ever mattered more.”The $1 million contribution from the Johnsons and the Jets last month supported the United Way of New York City’s COVID-19 Community Fund, the United Way of Northern New Jersey’s ALICE Recovery Fund and the United Way of Long Island’s United Together: A Response Fund for COVID-19.___ The switch was made after UEFA and the IOC decided last month on one-year postponements for Euro 2020 and the Tokyo Olympics. Britain, the Netherlands and Sweden will play in the women’s soccer tournament at the Olympics.Wembley Stadium in London will stage both the men’s and women’s European finals.UEFA says the rescheduled women’s tournament will retain the same 10 stadiums. It opens with England playing at Old Trafford in Manchester.___A decree issued by the Hungarian government allows most professional sports clubs and soccer teams to cut the salaries of players and other personnel like managers and trainers by up to 70%. ___German clubs are being urged not to bank on ticket sales for much of next season.League CEO Christian Seifert says “we don’t know if there will be games without fans in February or March still. We asked the club to plan without spectator income for the first part of next season.”German clubs are hoping to resume games next month after a two-month shutdown because of the coronavirus pandemic and to finish in time for many players’ contracts to end June 30. But a restart needs agreement from regional governments.Seifert says most of the league’s broadcast partners have agreed to pay up front to help clubs continue operating until the end of June. Some of that money may have to be paid back if the 2019-20 season can’t be finished.
The Latest: Brescia captain says his team opposes resumption Associated Press Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___Brescia captain Daniele Gastaldello says his entire squad opposes resuming the Serie A soccer season amid the coronavirus pandemic. Brescia president Massimo Cellino has also been a vociferous opponent to resuming the season but says it’s not because he wants his club to avoid relegation.The Italian government has not yet approved the resumption of the season.___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6 Gastaldello tells Italian daily La Repubblica “we don’t feel safe. They’re asking us to resume training and to get back out onto the field right away … It’s putting all of the players’ safety on the line.”He says “I’m speaking for me and for my teammates” and adds it’s not worth it “if the price of resuming is us getting seriously injured.”Most clubs in the Italian league are resuming training on an individual basis this week but last-place Brescia is one of the holdouts.Brescia is one of areas hit hardest by the virus but Gastaldello says he was never tested.He says “we’ll know if we’ve had it only once they test us before training.” May 7, 2020
Update on the latest in sports: — New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy tweeted that as long as the NFL’s Giants and Jets and the NHL’s Devils follow health and medical protocols, they could open training camps or even hold competition. The NFL’s preseason and training camps wouldn’t begin until midsummer — teams are doing virtual workouts in place of the usual on-field activities because of the coronavirus pandemic.— The top men’s soccer league in Ukraine will resume Saturday in empty stadiums after a suspension because of the coronavirus pandemic. The Ukrainian Premier League says it has received approval from the country’s health ministry to restart. No games have been played since March 15.COLLEGE ADMISSIONS-BRIBERYProsecutors say guilty plea coming in college bribery caseUNDATED (AP) — A Pennsylvania man has pleaded guilty to bribing Georgetown University’s former tennis coach to get his daughter admitted as a fake athletic recruit. May 26, 2020 NASCAR-BUSCH-MASKSKyle Busch supports wearing a mask in publicCHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kyle Busch says he supports wearing a mask in public so “we all can take care of our neighbor” amid the coronavirus pandemic. It’s a rare instance of the two-time NASCAR champion wading into a social issue. Busch entered the debate after images from short tracks over the weekend showed packed grandstands with little social distancing and few people wearing masks. He retweeted a photo from South Alabama Speedway in Ozark, Alabama, and added his own message. Busch applauded fans for supporting their local short tracks but suggested mandatory masks for admission for “healthier practices.” The reigning Cup Series champion rarely speaks on non-racing issues. In other developments related to the coronavirus:— Formula One carmaker McLaren says 1,200 jobs will be lost across its entire group’s operations because of the coronavirus outbreak. It was not immediately clear how the cuts would affect the group’s F1 operation. The sport has yet to start its 2020 season amid the pandemic. The cuts represent about a quarter of the group’s workforce. The plan was approved by the NHL’s board of governors, and comes days after the NHL Players’ Association’s executive committee gave the plan a green light.Bettman stresses the plan’s approval doesn’t guarantee the resumption of games. The league and players must still determine safety protocols and solve other issues, including where to play.Under the expanded format, the top four teams in each conference will play for seeding while the other 16 face off in a best-of-five series. The league has been shut down since March because of the coronavirus pandemic.In going ahead with the top 12 teams in each conference, the decision officially ends the seasons of the league’s bottom seven teams. They are Anaheim, Buffalo, Detroit, Los Angeles, New Jersey, Ottawa and San Jose.VIRUS OUTBREAK-NFL-ROSS Dolphins owner says there will be a 2020 seasonMIAMI (AP) — Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross says there definitely will be an NFL season in 2020.In an interview on CNBC, Ross says the question is whether there will be fans in the stadiums.The NFL has said it expects to play a full schedule beginning Sept. 10, but is preparing contingency plans in case the coronavirus pandemic makes venue changes or games without fans necessary.Ross says the NFL’s flexibility will allow the league to start on time. He says the country needs sports entertainment. Robert Repella pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud. Prosecutors are recommending a sentence of 10 months in prison and a $40,000 fine.Charging documents released Tuesday say Repella paid Georgetown tennis coach Gordon Ernst $50,000 in 2017 to get his daughter admitted as an athlete.Repella is the 55th person to be charged in the nationwide college admissions bribery scandal.NBA-WIZARDS-WALLWall says he’s fully recovered Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditVIRUS OUTBREAK-NHLNHL announcing plans to resume planUNDATED (AP) —NHL Commmissioner Gary Bettman has announced the league is moving ahead with a 24-team expanded playoff format if it’s able to resume play and award the Stanley Cup. WORLD TEAMTENNIS-FANSWorld TeamTennis hoping to play before fans within weeksUNDATED (AP) — World TeamTennis says it is planning to allow up to 500 spectators at outdoor matches during its three-week season from July 12 to Aug. 2 at a resort in West Virginia.All tennis events sanctioned by the ATP, WTA and International Tennis Federation are on hold at least until late July because of the coronavirus pandemic. But World TeamTennis is not affiliated with those tours and no ATP or WTA ranking points are available for its matches.World TeamTennis is increasing its prize money to $5 million. That is $1.5 million more than for its 2019 season. Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — Washington Wizards point guard John Wall says he is fully recovered after two operations that sidelined him for the past 1½ years. He also says he is “itching” to get back on the court next season.The five-time All-Star has not played in an NBA game since December 2018. Surgery for bone spurs in his left heel ended that season and while he was working his way back from that, he tore his left Achilles tendon and needed another operation in 2019.That held Wall out for all of the current season, which was suspended in March because of the coronavirus pandemic.He spoke during a video call to discuss his relief program to help pay rend for people in the nation’s capital affected by the coronavirus pandemic.,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6
UNDATED (AP) — Hockey is the latest sport to finalize a return to competition after NHL owners and players approved an agreement to resume the season. The return-to-play plan, tentatively approved by the NHL and NHL Players’ Association on Monday, was ratified by the league’s board of governors and with majority approval from players following a three-day voting period that ended Friday. Along with it, the two sides also formally approved a four-year extension of the collective bargaining agreement.Games are scheduled to begin Aug. 1 in Toronto and Edmonton, Alberta. Coronavirus cases in the U.S. are pushing the league into Canada for the summer and fall until the Stanley Cup is awarded in late September or early October. Training camps open across North America on Monday, which is also the deadline for players to opt out of participating with no penalty. In other developments related to the COVID-19 pandemic: The Lightning already got a pandemic scare when three players and additional staff tested positive for the novel coronavirus last month. The positive test results forced the team to close its facilities for a brief period of time.PALACE IMPLOSIONPistons’ onetime home, the Palace of Auburn Hills, torn downAUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) — One of Michigan’s most beloved sports and entertainment venues was turned into rubble on Saturday with a series of controlled explosions. The shell and roof of the Palace of Auburn Hills, which was home to three championship Detroit Pistons teams and three Detroit Shock teams and played host to some of the world’s biggest musical acts during its nearly 30-year run, crumbled to the ground following a series explosive pops. The rest of the arena had already been removed. The second round wasn’t completed until Saturday morning because of storm delays. Justin Thomas and Kevin Streelman were three behind and in the final group with Morikawa. The third round featured threesomes because of the rain delays.Brooks Koepka (KEHP’-kuh) and Justin Rose are among the players who missed the cut. Koepka closed with five birdies in seven holes last evening, but his 74-69 was one shot short. The cut was a 142, the highest score to make the cut in the five weeks since the PGA Tour restarted its season from the COVID-19 pandemic. Sixty-seven players made it.Nick Watney, Dylan Frittelli and Denny McCarthy missed the cut. They all tested positive for the coronavirus this week but were allowed to play because they already had tested positive, got through self-isolation and showed no symptoms. VIRUS OUTBREAK-SPORTSNHL to resume season in Canada next month Associated Press The Palace, which opened in 1988, held more than 22,000 people for NBA games and up to 23,000 for concerts and other shows, according to nba.com.After the Pistons relocated in 2017 to downtown Detroit, the arena about 30 miles northwest of the city continued to host concerts and music events, the last in September 2017 by rocker Bob Seger.It also became the second suburban Detroit arena that found little real use after its main sports tenant took its games back to the city. The Detroit Lions played at the nearby Pontiac Silverdome from 1975-2001 before moving to Ford Field in Detroit. The Pistons also called the Silverdome home for a decade before The Palace opened. The Silverdome was taken down with a partial implosion in 2017.OBIT-JACK CHARLTONEngland World Cup winner Jack Charlton dies at 85 July 11, 2020 — German soccer club Union Berlin is offering free coronavirus tests for more than 20,000 fans as part of a plan to hold games in a full stadium in September. The Bundesliga (BOON’-dehsh-lee-guh) club will offer testing ahead of each game to fans and club staff. Each person must test negative for the virus within 24 hours of kickoff. Union wants to implement the plan in time for the first home league game of the new season, which could be as soon as Sept. 18. The club’s plan is more ambitious than those of other German clubs because it relies on mass testing instead of social distancing. The Berlin city government has a ban in place on mass gatherings until Oct. 24. NHL-PLAYERS OUTLightning’s Stamkos injured again at start of training campUNDATED (AP) — Captain Steven Stamkos will be limited at the start of Tampa Bay Lightning training camp because of a new lower-body injury. General manager Julien BriseBois (BREEZ’-bwah) said Saturday that Stamkos fully recovered from core muscle surgery in early March but was injured again during voluntary workouts. Stamkos is expected to be ready for the start of the NHL’s expanded 24-team Stanley Cup playoffs in early August.Unlike Stamkos, the Calgary Flames won’t have defenseman Travis Hamonic for the resumption of the hockey season after he decided to opt out for family reasons. Hamonic on Friday night became the first player to publicly choose not to play in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Hamonic’s daughter was hospitalized last year with respiratory issues, and he and his wife also have a baby boy. — The Pac-12 has become the second major conference to shift to a conference-only fall schedule amid growing concerns over the coronavirus pandemic. The decision covers football, women’s and women’s soccer and women’s volleyball. Conference-only schedules will be announced no later than July 31. The announcement came a day after the Big Ten opted to eliminate nonconference games for all fall sports. The Atlantic Coast, Big 12 and Southeastern conferences are still weighing options for fall sports. — Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott has tested positive for COVID-19. The 55-year-old tested positive late this week after experiencing flu-like symptoms and is self-quarantining at the direction of his doctor, according to a statement by the conference. Scott is continuing to carry on his duties as commissioner remotely.— Arizona Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill has tested positive for COVID-19. The team says after Bidwill developed symptoms, he tested positive and went to the hospital on the recommendation of his doctor. His condition has improved and he’s expected to be released this weekend. The team believes the 55-year-old Bidwill caught the virus while traveling and spending time on the East Coast for several weeks. He’s been working remotely since March and the team says he hasn’t had in-person contact coaches or players.— The Houston Astros have canceled their workout after learning that a staff member could have been exposed to a person outside the organization with the coronavirus. It’s the second time this week the Astros have canceled a workout because of concerns about the pandemic. Houston also scrapped its Monday workout because of delays with testing results due to the holiday weekend, as did some other teams around the majors. General manager James Click said they decided to cancel Saturday’s workout as a precaution.— Swiss top-tier soccer club Zurich said it had more cases of coronavirus Saturday among its players and staff who are now in home quarantine. Zurich did not specify how many new COVID-19 cases were reported after the initial announcement Friday that a player had tested positive. Zurich’s Swiss Super League games on Saturday against Sion, and on Tuesday at Basel, have been postponed during the 10-day quarantine period through to next Friday. Zurich has seven league games left and it is unclear how that program can be met ahead of UEFA’s Aug. 2 deadline to complete domestic seasons. Update on the latest sports Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditPGA-WORKDAY OPENMorikawa takes 3-shot lead into weekend at Muirfield VillageDUBLIN, Ohio (AP) — Collin Morikawa takes a three-shot lead into the third round of the Workday Charity Open in Ohio. His 13-under 131 is one stroke away from the 36-hole record at Muirfield Village that Jason Dufner set three years ago at the Memorial. UNDATED (AP) — England World Cup winner Jack Charlton has died. Charlton was an uncompromising central defender who played alongside his brother, Bobby, in England’s World Cup-winning side in 1966 before enjoying coaching success with Ireland. Charlton was Footballer of the Year in England in 1967. He spent all his club career at Leeds from 1952-73, tying its all-time record of 773 appearances. He won every domestic honor, including the league title in 1969. His biggest achievement came with the England national team that beat Germany 4-2 after extra time in the 1966 World Cup final at Wembley Stadium. Charlton died at home on Friday in his native Northumberland in northeast England. He was 85.Premier League games will be preceded by a minute’s silence this weekend as a tribute to Charlton and players will wear black armbands.TENNIS-SUSPICIOUS MATCHES Tennis Integrity Unit eyes suspicious exhibition matchesLONDON (AP) — The Tennis Integrity Unit has raised concerns over 24 “suspicious matches” at exhibitions organized while the men’s and women’s tours are shut down amid the coronavirus pandemic. The TIU, which investigates match-fixing cases in the sport, said Friday it received reports of the matches at private tournaments staged between April and June.The reports are filed by gambling companies who track unusual betting patterns around matches. Suspicious betting patterns don’t necessarily mean a match was fixed. A similar effect can also happen if insider information about a player’s injury leaks. Private tennis exhibitions have proliferated after the ATP and WTA tours closed down in March. Some have little or no oversight. Besides a smattering of events with big-name players, there are many smaller events around the world with low-ranked players.
The Latest: Chiefs RB Damien Williams opts out July 29, 2020 FIFA expects to make the funds available by January 2021.___Three riders competing at the Vuelta a Burgos cycling race in Spain have been dropped from the event after being in contact with someone with the coronavirus.UAE Team Emirates says Colombian riders Sebastian Molano, Cristian Munoz and Camilo Ardila will not start the second stage.The team says they were in contact with a person who turned out to be positive for COVID-19 on Saturday. They have been isolated and sent home in accordance with protocols by the team and international cycling body UCI. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___Running back Damien Williams, whose strong postseason helped Kansas City to its first Super Bowl championship in 50 years, is opting out of playing the upcoming season. Associated Press Teams are not disclosing if players test positive for the coronavirus or are placed in quarantine.Smith played in 16 games in 2019, his first season with the team. He led the Falcons with eight special teams tackles and forced two fumbles.___The Philadelphia Eagles have placed three-time Pro Bowl right tackle Lane Johnson, linebacker Nathan Gerry, and tackle Jordan Mailata on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. The team is not disclosing if any of the players tested positive or were exposed to someone who has been infected with the new coronavirus. The 28-year-old Williams had 290 yards and six touchdowns in three postseason games — two TDs in the Super Bowl — for the Chiefs. He has been plagued by injuries in his six pro seasons, and rushed for 498 yards and five touchdowns on 111 carries during the regular season. Chiefs general manager Brett Veach said in a statement:“As an organization, we certainly understand and respect Damien’s choice, knowing it was made in the best interest of his family. He means a lot to our football team as a player and a person, and we’re going to miss having him around this season.”___The Atlanta Falcons have placed fullback Keith Smith and safety Jamal Carter on the team’s reserve/COVID-19 list. The Dream waived forward Erica McCall.___Cornerback Caleb Farley says he will not play for Virginia Tech this season because of health concerns and will focus instead on preparing for the 2021 NFL draft.The redshirt junior from Hickory, North Carolina made the announcement in a video posted on Twitter.The 6-foot-2, 207-pound Farley was expected to be one of the nation’s top defensive backs this season. He says he’s forgoing the season “due to uncertain health conditions and regulations and all the other opt outs going on in football right now.” Farley, whose mother died in January 2018, said he “must make the decision that brings me the most peace.”Hokies coach Justin Fuente was not immediately available to comment on the decision.___Guard Drew Forbes and tackle Drake Dorbeck are the first two Cleveland Browns players who have chosen to opt out for the 2020 NFL season because of the coronavirus.Forbes, a sixth-round pick in 2019, was expected to compete for the starting right guard job. He appeared in one game for the Browns last season. Solder, who started every game for the Giants the past two seasons, announced his decision Wednesday on Twitter, citing his son’s ongoing fight with cancer, the recent birth of a baby boy, and his own history with cancer.Under the agreement reached last week between the NFL and the players’ union, players can choose not to play in 2020 without penalty. The opt-out is irrevocable.Solder said he made the decision “to pause this season” after much praying. He will earn $350,000 this season as a high-risk opt out. The 32-year-old was scheduled to make $6.5 million under the four-year, $62 million contract he signed in 2018 after leaving the New England Patriots as a free agent. The deal will now run through 2022.___The Big West Conference is postponing all fall sports through the end of the calendar year. The National Women’s Hockey League is pushing back the start of its season from mid-November to January because of the new coronavirus pandemic.The league announced Wednesday it still plans to have teams play a full 20-game season, with the playoffs to conclude by the end of March. Should time permit, the NWHL will schedule holding its traditional midseason all-star game after the playoffs.The NWHL has six teams, with the addition of a Toronto expansion franchise. The league was unable to complete last season, having to cancel the championship game between Boston and Minnesota in mid-March because of COVID-19.The NWHL plans to begin holding optional practices beginning the week of Sept. 21, followed by formal practices a month later. The schedule was determined by the league’s COVID-19 safety committee formed in April.___ ___The Atlanta Dream says forward Glory Johnson has been cleared by the team and the WNBA.The team says Johnson had no symptoms after testing positive for the new coronavirus. She has since received the necessary negative tests to be cleared. Johnson was expected to be in uniform for Wednesday night’s game against the Las Vegas Aces.Johnson averaged 7.3 points per game for Dallas in 2019, her seventh season in the WNBA. Dorbeck is an undrafted rookie out from Southern Mississippi.Earlier, Browns’ head physician Dr. James Voos said players have the complete support of the team if they decide not to play.“The NFL and the NFLPA have utilized the CDC criteria for the high-risk category — players that may have a chronic disease, may have a family member with a chronic disease or may have another type of issue that may put them at risk for the season,’′ Voos said. “We have established those criteria to guide the players to make those best-informed decisions for them and their family.”___New York Giants left tackle Nate Solder has opted out of the 2020 NFL season because of the coronavirus pandemic. The conference’s board of directors said that men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s soccer and women’s volleyball will be postponed as well as the fall schedules for men’s and women’s golf along with men’s and women’s tennis.The conference will determine later if conducting fall sports in the spring would be feasible. The decision does not impact basketball, which is scheduled to begin on Nov. 10. The Division I conference has 11 members, with all but one based in California.___The University of Texas is now exploring how it can host football games at 25% percent stadium capacity instead of the previously announced 50% as the return to campus and the planned start of the season rapidly approaches. In a letter to fans posted Wednesday on the Crimson Tide’s website, Byrne says the athletic department placed a freeze on hiring for non-coaching jobs because of potential revenue shortfalls during the COVID-19 pandemic.He says Alabama also is finding ways to save on energy and facility operating costs and is reviewing other steps. The Southeastern Conference hasn’t announced plans for fall sports, including football, which could ultimately mean a limited number of fans at Bryant-Denny Stadium.“Under normal operations, a large percentage of our annual budget comes directly from ticket sales and TIDE PRIDE memberships,” Byrne said, referring to Alabama’s ticket priority program.“In the event we have to adopt a modified seating model at Bryant-Denny Stadium, this number will be impacted significantly. While we don’t yet know the effects on individual ticketholders, we do know that we will need your continued and generous support.”___ The team says the three riders returned two negative tests three days before the race.___The first two stops on the 2021 World Sevens Series rugby circuit have been canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.World Rugby says the joint events in Dubai from Nov. 26-28 and in Cape Town from Dec. 4-6 have been cut because of the “ongoing and dynamic global nature of the COVID-19 pandemic.”The 2020 series was curtailed and New Zealand declared champions of the men’s and women’s titles after sports around the world were shuttered in March. Spanish soccer club Sevilla says one of its players has tested positive for the coronavirus.The club has not disclosed the name of the player. It says he has not shown symptoms of COVID-19 and is in good health and isolated at home.Sevilla says the positive result was discovered on Monday. It immediately informed sports and health authorities and temporarily suspended the team’s training sessions. It also disinfected the club’s facilities in accordance with the strict protocols in place because of the pandemic.Sevilla is scheduled to face Roma on Aug. 6 in the Europa League.___ The Big 12 will hold its football media day online Monday with only the conference’s 10 head coaches available.The coronavirus pandemic forced all major college conferences to cancel their traditional in-person football media days and switch to virtual events. The uncertainty of when and if the season will start then prompted the virtual events to be delayed.The Big 12 will be the first Football Bowl Subdivision conference to conduct a media day, with some of the teams in the conference scheduled to begin play on Aug. 29.___Athletic director Greg Byrne says the University of Alabama has taken cost-cutting measures for each department and sport with the coronavirus threatening fall sports. FIFA has ratified a coronavirus relief plan that will make $1.5 billion available to soccer communities and national associations around the world.All of the 211 FIFA member associations will receive a $1 million grant “to protect and restart football” and can access interest-free loans of up to $5 million.Each member association will also receive an additional $500,000 grant for women’s soccer during the plan’s third phase.The massive spending plan aims to help men’s and women’s professional soccer as well as youth and grassroots soccer through a system of grants and loans.Each of the six soccer confederations will also receive a grant of $2 million. Texas officials had told season ticket holders earlier this month they were planning for 50 percent capacity, which would be allowed under statewide orders from Gov. Greg Abbott. That would include nearly 50,000 fans. But Austin’s health authority said Tuesday the 50% plan caught the city off guard and he questioned whether the school should host any fans at games. Texas is scheduled to host South Florida on Sept. 5 and the Big 12 has held out hope it can play a 12-game regular season.In a campus letter Wednesday, Interim President Jay Hartzell said the chairman of the school’s Board of Regents asked the school to plan for a 25% attendance, including students.The state of Texas has seen record numbers of new coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths in the month of July.___ Planning for the remaining qualifiers for the postponed Tokyo Olympics is ongoing. Twenty-one of the 24 places in the Olympic tournaments have been confirmed.A dozen teams are set to play in each of the men’s and women’s tournaments in the first half of next year for the remaining spots in Tokyo.The last five stops in the 2020 series were canceled in June.___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
AP Preseason All-America Team Associated Press August 25, 2020 Linebackers — Chazz Surratt senior, North Carolina; Nick Bolton, junior, Missouri; x-Paddy Fisher, senior, Northwestern.Cornerbacks — Patrick Surtain II, junior, Alabama; y-Caleb Farley, junior, Virginia Tech.Safeties — x-Jevon Holland, junior, Oregon; Trevon Moehrig, junior, TCU.Punter — x-Adam Korsak, junior, Rutgers.___ Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe 2020 AP Preseason All-America Team (x-team not scheduled to play in the fall; y-opted out of season):FIRST TEAMOffense Punter — Max Duffy, senior, Kentucky.SECOND TEAMOffenseQuarterback — x-Justin Fields, junior, Ohio State.Running backs — Najee Harris, sneior, Alabama; Kenneth Gainwell, sophomore, Memphis. Quarterback — Trevor Lawrence, junior, Clemson.Running backs — Chuba Hubbard, junior, Oklahoma State; Travis Etienne, senior, Clemson.Tackles — x-Penei Sewell, junior, Oregon; Alex Leatherwood, senior, Alabama.Guards — x-Wyatt Davis, junior, Ohio State; Trey Smith, senior, Tennessee.Center — Creed Humphrey, junior, Oklahoma. Ends — x-Kayvon Thibodeaux, sophomore, Oregon; y-Gregory Rousseau, junior, Miami.Tackles — Marvin Wilson, senior, Florida State; y-Jaylen Twyman, junior, Pitt.Linebackers — y-Micah Parsons, junior, Penn State; x-Hamilcar Rashed Jr., senior, Oregon State; Dylan Moses, senior, Alabama.Cornerbacks — Derek Stingley Jr., sophomore, LSU; x-Shaun Wade, junior, Ohio State.Safeties — Richard LeCounte, senior, Georgia; Andre Cisco, junior, Syracuse. Tight end — x-Pat Freiermuth, junior, Penn State.Receivers — Ja’Marr Chase, junior, LSU; DeVonta Smith, senior, Alabama.All-purpose player — y-Rondale Moore, junior, Purdue.Kicker — x-Keith Duncan, senior, Iowa.DEFENSE All-purpose player — Jaylen Waddle, junior, Alabama.Kicker — Gabe Brkic, sophomore, Oklahoma.DefenseEnds — Carlos Basham, senior, Wake Forest; Quincy Roche, senior, Miami.Tackles — y-Jay Tufele, junior, Southern California; x-Levi Onwuzurike, senior, Washington. Tackles — Samuel Cosmi, junior, Texas; x-Cole Van Lanen, senior, Wisconsin.Guards — x-Nolan Laufenberg, senior, Air Force; x-Alijah Vera-Tucker, junior, Southern California.Center — x-Tyler Linderbaum, junior, Iowa.Tight end — Charlie Kolar, junior, Iowa State.Receivers — Tylan Wallace, senior, Oklahoma State; y-Rashod Bateman, junior, Minnesota. More AP college football: https://apnews.com/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25
The school announced the move Monday evening, though it didn’t specify which programs were impacted by the cluster. In a separate release, the school said that not all of 27 positive cases reported involved athletes.In a statement, athletics director Boo Corrigan said the school is working to determine “the most responsible path moving forward.”In a tweet Monday, athletics spokesman Fred Demarest said the athletics department has conducted 2,053 tests to athletes, coaches and staff with 30 total positives for an infection rate of 1.5%. But those figures include 693 tests and 22 positives in the most recent set of results.The school also announced two other coronavirus clusters Monday, one involving nine positive cases in a campus residence hall and the second in an off-campus apartment complex with five positive cases involving students.___ The Latest: NC State pauses all athletic activities Athletics director Kevin White says it is “imperative to be both adaptable and compliant in anticipation of hosting fans in the near future.”___The Norwegian government says it will make an exception from its travel ban to accommodate a Nations League soccer game against Austria on Sept. 4 in Oslo.Culture and sports minister Abid Q. Raja says “we make this exception to ensure that both teams can field a full crew.”Raja adds “this is not a general exception … this is an exception for this match.” Louisville anticipates admitting 18,000 spectators at Cardinal Stadium with appropriate seat distancing along with increased physical distancing at entrances. The plan is subject to change and the school is working with state officials.Plans call for the former ticket office and a store at one gate to be removed for 16 openings and 32 entrances, with additional staffing. Safety measures include distancing inside the 60,800-seat stadium and parking lots for tailgating, temperature checks and face coverings.Season ticket holders will have the opportunity to select seat location from physically distanced sets in priority point order. Priority points are awarded each year for season ticket holder longevity and donations to the Cardinal Athletic Fund. Louisville opens on Sept. 12 against Western Kentucky in its lone non-conference game before a 10-game Atlantic Coast Conference schedule.___ Bundesliga team Schalke has reported a positive case of the coronavirus in an unidentified member of staff at its training camp in Austria.“The affected person is currently self-isolating after the test result. Contact tracing is already underway,” the club says on its website. Schalke was due to play Würzburger Kickers in a friendly game later Monday but that has been called off as the club conducts further tests. Team doctor Patrick Ingelfinger is liaising with local authorities on what the club should do next. “We will do everything we are told to do by the authorities. The health and safety of everyone involved is the most important thing,” sports director Jochen Schneider said. In a statement, the team said that “for the time being, it is in the best interest of the general public and our organization that fans not attend games.”The Ravens said they will continue to work with health officials about finding a way to eventually make the stadium safe for fans during home games.___Jamaican world record holder Usain Bolt says on social media he is awaiting the result of a coronavirus test and is quarantining himself as a precaution.The 34-year-old retired sprinter who won gold in the 100 and 200 meters at the last three Olympics posted a video Monday on his official Instagram account to explain the situation. August 24, 2020 ___Duke will open its season for football and other fall sports with no fans at home games because of the coronavirus pandemic.Duke says traditional parking lots used by fans on gameday will be closed. The school will contact football fans who have purchased season or single-game tickets or have seating and suite contracts in Blue Devil Tower regarding potential options.The school will allow fans to purchase a fan cutout of a person or pet to be placed in seats for football games. The school will offer varied packages and stadium locations along with weekly prize drawings and the ability to have football coach David Cutcliffe autograph the cutout.The school says sales proceeds will go to Duke Athletics for student-athlete support. The board of directors of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum has voted unanimously to reschedule this winter’s two Era Committee elections because of concerns associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.Hall of Fame Chairman Jane Forbes Clark says the Era Committee process requires in-person dialogue involving the members of the 16-person voting committee. In view of those concerns, she said the board decided that the Golden Days Committee and the Early Days Committee will instead meet during the winter of 2021.The Golden Days Era Committee considers Hall of Fame candidates whose primary contributions to the game came from 1950 to 1969, and the Early Baseball Era Committee considers candidates whose primary contributions came prior to 1950. Each committee will consider a ballot of 10 candidates compiled by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America’s Historical Overview Committee, and those candidates will be announced in autumn 2021. Both committees will consider the ballots later that year and anybody elected will be enshrined in 2022.___Clemson football coach Dabo Swinney and men’s basketball coach Brad Brownell are among 15 members of the school’s athletic department taking a voluntary 10% salary cut as a way to offset expected losses due to the coronavirus pandemic. A former speaker of the Nebraska Legislature, Flood asked the conference to produce documents relating to voting by the university presidents as well as meeting minutes and audio and video recordings and transcripts of meetings where votes were cast. He also asked for copies of studies, scientific data and medical information or advice considered by the presidents.Flood threatened to file a federal lawsuit if he didn’t receive the requested material.___Iowa’s athletic department is working to secure a $75 million loan to cushion the blow of losing a projected $100 million in revenue because of the coronavirus pandemic.Athletic director Gary Barta said the Hawkeyes had built a strong financial foundation before the coronavirus forced cancellation of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament and led to the Big Ten’s postponement of football until after Jan. 1. Now the athletic department faces a $60-$75 million deficit. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___North Carolina State has paused all athletics activities due to a coronavirus cluster within its programs. Attendance for the first two games in West Point, New York, is expected to be limited to the Corps of Cadets and exclude the general public.Decisions on fan attendance for the remaining home games at Michie Stadium will be decided later.The Black Knights will open the season Sept. 5 at home against Middle Tennessee State. The rest of the home slate includes Louisiana-Monroe, BYU, Abilene Christian, The Citadel, Mercer, Air Force and Georgia Southern.Road games are at UTSA, Tulane and Philadelphia for the 121st Army-Navy matchup.___ Iowa announced initial budget reductions in July, and after the Big Ten pulled the plug on fall football earlier this month the Hawkeyes announced Friday they would drop men’s gymnastics, men’s tennis, and men’s and women’s swimming and diving. Barta said there are no plans to eliminate other sports and figures it will take about 15 years for the athletic department to pay off the loan. He said he had a “guestimate” for how much money Iowa could bring in from post-Jan. 1 football, but he declined to disclose the figure.___The Baltimore Ravens won’t have any fans at home games for the first part of the upcoming season because of the coronavirus pandemic. The team had outlined a plan to accommodate a crowd of 7,500, but decided against it “based on the recommendations of public health experts.” The university also announced Monday a furlough program for affected employees starting Sept. 1 through the end of the year. Clemson said about half of its full-time employees will be impacted by the cost-saving measures. University President Jim Clements is also subject to the 10% voluntary salary reduction.___An attorney representing the families of 11 Nebraska football players says Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren has not responded to a letter seeking documents and other material outlining specifics of how the conference decided to not play football in the fall.Mike Flood said in a statement that his “clients believe that transparency in decision making is not too much to ask when the health of student athletes, their future opportunities and the very survival of men’s and women’s sporting programs are at stake.” Stefanski did not disclose how many false positives affected the Browns. He said 12 more players need to be cleared before they can practice Monday.The 38-year-old coach praised the Browns for the way they handled “a fire drill” with their virus protocols.— Tom Withers reporting from Cleveland.___Army has finalized its football schedule and the Black Knights will play 11 games, eight at home. Navy and Air Force remain on the schedule. “Good morning everybody. Just waking up. Like everybody, checked social media and saw that social media says I’m confirmed of COVID-19,” he said. “I did a test Saturday, because I work. I’m trying to be responsible, so I’m going to stay in and stay here for my friends.”Bolt added he has no symptoms.“Just to be safe, I’ll quarantine myself and just take it easy,” he said.Bolt set the world records in the 100 and 200 meters at the 2009 world championships in Berlin. He retired after worlds in 2017.___ Associated Press Cleveland Browns coach Kevin Stefanski was one of the numerous COVID-19 false positive tests reported Sunday by the NFL’s lab partner.Stefanski was at home with his wife and three children when he got word that he may have the virus.“It wasn’t fun,” Stefanski said on a Zoom call. “I can laugh about it now, but truly it wasn’t fun to have that phone call very early in the morning and not get news that it was potentially an error until later.”Stefanski said he immediately left his house as not to put his family in any more danger. He went to a condominium near the team’s facility where he stayed before moving his family to Ohio from Minnesota in the offseason. He spent the previous 13 seasons on the Vikings’ staff.It took four hours before Stefanski learned he was negative. He was not able to coach on Sunday, when the Browns initially called off their workout before holding it when they learned of the flawed lab results. Norway captain Omar Elabdellaoui and striker Alexander Soerloth both play in Turkey.___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
WEST Indies captain Jason Holder hit a quickfire half-century and claimed three wickets as Northants walloped Warwickshire for their first One-Day Cup group game victory.The Bears’ 194-run defeat was their worst in 56 years of one-day cricket.Northants’ 358-6 included four half centuries, of which Holder was the fastest, with an unbeaten 60 off 31 balls in the final 10 overs.The Bears then buckled to 164 all out, Holder leading the way with 3-26.Blessing Muzarabani (3-28) and Ben Sanderson (3-44) matched Holder’s wickets haul to wrap up the game with more than 15 overs unused.Northants had lost their opening two games, against Durham and Derbyshire. But Rob Keogh (69), Adam Rossington (68) and captain Alex Wakely all weighed in with fifties, while Richard Levi made 78, before becoming a third victim for Henry Brookes (3-80).Injury-weakened Warwickshire, who tied their opening group game with Yorkshire on Good Friday, were a long way short in reply, their top score coming from 36 apiece for Ed Pollock and youngster Alex Thomson.They now host Nottinghamshire on Tuesday, while Northants’ next game is at Old Trafford against Lancashire on Wednesday.“It was a very good team performance. Everyone pulled their weight. We had a disappointing performance in Derby so it’s great to see the guys bounce back.“The platform was laid with the bat and it was a great effort to score 350. The pitch had good carry and bounce and we exploited that really well.“Blessing was outstanding with the new ball. He set the tone and everyone followed on nicely.”“Records don’t bother me. It’s about losing two points and we have pick ourselves up for Tuesday now. We didn’t hit our lengths consistently with the ball.“We fed them too many balls to hit, whereas against Yorkshire we forced them to defend. Then Blessing and Holder with their lengths, that was the difference.“Alex Thomson under pressure played well with the bat and there have been some other good signs for our young players.” (BBC Sport).
By Julien PretotMONTREUIL, France (Reuters) – Caster Semenya, who is battling the sport’s governing IAAF over rules that prevent her from running her preferred distance races unless she takes testosterone-suppressant medication, won a 2 000 metres race at the Montreuil athletics meeting yesterday.The double Olympic champion has appealed a Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) decision that supported the IAAF’s rule that XY chromosome athletes with differences in sexual development (DSDs), like Semenya, can only race in distances from 400m to a mile if they take medication to lower their testosterone levels.“I can run any distance I want,” the South African told reporters after winning her race in five minutes 38.19 in front of 1 650 spectators on the outskirts of Paris.“I don’t have time for nonsense; I don’t have time for messages for anyone. I said a long time ago that I’m going to focus on myself.“There will always be people who will provoke you, but I’m always going to stay positive. I’m not going to talk about the appeal. I have a lawyer, I have a team. I am an athlete the only thing I focus on is my performance.”Asked if she would be defending her 800 metres title at the world championships, which start in September, Semenya replied: “Of course I’m an athlete, a world class athlete. My goals are very clear, I think I’ve made a statement in Doha (in May), running in 1:54(.98), it’s pretty clear to me.”Semenya has appealed to the Swiss Federal Tribunal (SFT), who ruled last week that she can run in her favoured 800 metres event without taking medication until her appeal has been ruled on.She was named in South Africa’s preliminary squad for the world championships in Doha, though this is dependent on the outcome of her appeal to the SFT.She has so far not entered races in distances covered by the IAAF rules, having won the 5 000 metres national title this year.Her next race is expected to be the 3 000 metres of the Prefontaine Classic in Stanford, California, on June 30.Burundi’s Francine Niyonsaba, another XY chromosome athlete with differences in sexual development (DSDs), was fifth in the 2 000 metres yesterday.She said after the race that she would not take testosterone-suppressant medication. “I’m against (those rules). It’s discriminatory,” she said.