Coronavirus: Utah Jazz stars cleared of COVID-19, Diamond League suspends events

Another major golf tournament is seemingly about to be postponed, with June's US Open at Winged Foot likely to be suspended, according to reports

With the Masters and US PGA Championship already postponed, the US Open and Open are the two men's majors left in their designated spots.

Originally scheduled for June 18-21 at Winged Foot in New York, the event will take place "later in the summer" but the location will not change, according to the New York Post.

Meanwhile the Evian Championship, another women's major, has been rescheduled for August 6-9  from July 23-26. 

Virus prompts questions over ICC events

The International Cricket Council (ICC) board has discussed the potential impact of coronavirus on the sport's forthcoming global events, including this year's Twenty20 World Cup in Australia.

With cricket ceased across the spectrum there are growing question marks over the ongoing  world test championship, which is likely to fall considerably behind schedule as fixtures continue to be postponed ahead of next year's planned Lord's final, and this October's T20 World Cup, the final of which is scheduled  for the Melbourne Cricket Ground on November 15.

Both competitions would have been high on the list as the game's leading administrators debated issues related to the current lay-off but with no immediate decision necessary, there were no firm conclusions at this early stage.

ICC chief executive Manu Sawhney said: "We continue to undertake a comprehensive business continuity and contingency planning exercise which will allow us to adapt to the rapidly evolving world in which we find ourselves.

"The ICC management will continue our contingency planning around ICC events and will also work with Members to explore all options available to us based on a range of scenarios connected to the pandemic."

NBA players cleared of COVID-19

Utah Jazz NBA star Rudy Gobert has recovered from the coronavirus, the Utah Department of Health announced on Saturday (NZ time).   

More than two weeks ago, centre Gobert was one of the first sportsmen in the world to test positive for COVID-19, which led to the NBA - and the majority of the sporting world - shutting down.

His positive test result came through moments before the Jazz were about to tip off against the Steven Adams' Oklahoma City Thunder.

Gobert's teammate Donavan Mitchell also tested positive. 

"All Utah Jazz players and staff have been cleared by the Utah Department of Health after completing their respective periods of isolation and quarantine following exposure to COVID-19," announced the Utah Department of health.

"In accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and NBA recommendations, all players and staff will continue to practice social distancing while limiting time outside of their homes to essential activities."

"The Utah Department of Health has determined that all Jazz players and staff, regardless of prior testing status, no longer pose a risk of infection to others."

Jazz players were reportedly furious at Gobert who joked about the virus days before his positive test when he made a point of touching reporters tape recorders and microphones after a media session. 

ESPN also reported  that the Frenchman was seen touching personal possessions of Jazz teammates. 

The NBA season is currently suspended indefinitely. 

NFL draft to proceed despite coronavirus

The 2020 NFL draft will go ahead as scheduled next month but players, fans and media will not be present because of the coronavirus pandemic.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell  announced the three-day event will take place in a television studio, with players interviewed via video conference.

The draft is scheduled to take place between April 23-25.

 "It can serve a very positive purpose for our clubs, our fans, and the country," said Goodell.

"There is no assurance that we can select a different date and be confident that conditions will be significantly more favourable than they are today."

The NFL draft is one of the biggest events in the United States' sporting calendar, where all 32 teams recruit the best players from the American collegiate system.

About 500,000 fans attended last year's draft in Nashville.

Diamond League postpones more events 

Diamond League events in Stockholm, Naples and Rabat that were scheduled for late May have been postponed amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Diamond League has now postponed five events in the 2020 season, after meets scheduled for Doha and an unspecified host city in China were also moved.

"The decision was made in close consultation with all the relevant parties," the Diamond League said in a statement.

"The dynamic global spread of the COVID-19 disease, the travel restrictions expected to be in force for some time and above all concerns over athlete safety have made it impossible to stage the competitions as planned.

"The meeting organisers, the Diamond League and World Athletics, remain committed to delivering a structured, extensive season in 2020."

Stockholm was due to host a meeting on May 24, followed by Naples (May 28) and Rabat (May 31).

The postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games to next year would open up some space on the calendar if the coronavirus pandemic has been brought under control by mid-July.

"New dates for Diamond League events will be announced in cooperation with the World Athletics Global Calendar Unit as soon as the extraordinary situation makes a reliable plan possible."

As things stand, the next Diamond League event on the 2020 calendar is the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon, that is scheduled for June 6-7.

There are 15 events on the schedule for this year, with the final in Zurich set for September 11.

Reuters/Newshub.

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