The latest on how the coronavirus outbreak is affecting sports around the globe:
Hard work won’t go to waste for Olympic-bound athletes
All athletes who had qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics will keep their spots for the Games next year following their postponement due to the coronavirus pandemic, the International Olympic Committee said on Friday.
The IOC and Japanese organizers postponed the July 24-Aug 9 event earlier this week but confirmed that those among the 11,000 athletes set to compete in Tokyo who had already earned their spot would keep it.
The IOC also said that the amount of spots allocated for each sport at the Games would remain the same next year.
Russia temporarily halts doping tests for athletes
The Russian anti-doping agency is suspending all tests for 10 days in response to measures implemented by the government to fight the coronavirus.
The move comes after President Vladimir Putin told Russians except those working in essential sectors to stay home next week.
RUSADA deputy CEO Margarita Pahnotskaya tells The Associated Press the testing suspension covers a longer period because of the risk of staff being stranded away from home. Tests stopped Friday and will resume on April 6.
Pakhnotskaya says the World Anti-Doping Agency has been notified.
Trio of Diamond League track and field events postponed
The events in Stockholm on May 24, Naples and Rome on May 28, and Rabat, Morocco, on May 31 have all been postponed with no new dates set.
The first six events of the year have been called off and only the Shanghai meet has been given a new date. The Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon, on June 7 is now the first scheduled event on the calendar.
The Diamond League says “the meeting organizers, the Wanda Diamond League and World Athletics remain committed to delivering a structured extensive season in 2020.”
Tennis star makes donation to relief efforts in Serbia
Tennis world number one Novak Djokovic pledged one million euros ($1.10 million US) to help buy ventilators and other medical equipment in his native Serbia on Friday, joining a list of other athletes in the fight against coronavirus.
Rafa Nadal had called on Spanish athletes to help raise 11 million euros ($12.13 million) to help fight the pandemic while Roger Federer contributed one million Swiss Francs ($1.04 million) to vulnerable families in his native Switzerland.
“I wish to express my gratitude to all the medical staff across the world and in my native Serbia for helping everyone infected by the coronavirus,” Djokovic told Serbian media over a video conference from Marbella, Spain.
“Unfortunately, more and more people are getting infected every day. My wife Jelena and I are putting together a plan how to best donate our resources to people in need.