The Latest: Dolphins aim to get stadium cleaning accredited

Sports

FILE – In this March 26, 2020, file photo, Jason Hackedorn looks into Progressive Field, home of the Cleveland Indians baseball team, in Cleveland. With the distinct possibility of pro sports resuming in empty venues, a recent poll suggests a majority of U.S. fans wouldn’t feel safe attending games anyway without a coronavirus vaccine.(AP Photo/Tony Dejak, File)

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

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The Miami Dolphins say their stadium has committed to becoming the first to receive accreditation from a cleaning industry association for infectious disease prevention efforts.

The Global Biorisk Advisory Council will ensure the stadium establishes and maintains a cleaning, disinfection and infectious disease prevention program to minimize risk associated with such diseases as COVID-19, the Dolphins said.

“We wanted to be accountable to the most credible third-party standard that exists,” team president Tom Garfinkel said in a statement. “Working with GBAC ensures compliance with critical guidelines for the highest standard of cleanliness, and it is our hope that other venues will follow suit as we navigate through these unprecedented times.”

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More than $6 million has been raised by the governing bodies of tennis for a relief fund aimed at lessening the financial effects of the coronavirus pandemic on about 800 players.

The WTA and ATP tours, the International Tennis Federation and the groups that run the four Grand Slam tournaments announced the formation of what they’re calling the “Player Relief Programme” on Tuesday.

They say the money will go to women and men in singles and doubles.

The WTA and ATP will oversee the distribution of the money.

Players’ eligibility will be determined based on the rankings and past prize money earnings.

Most professional tennis players rely on playing in tournaments for income and all sanctioned events have been scrapped since early March because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

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The tennis club where Novak Djokovic broke confinement rules in Spain says it mistakenly authorized the player to practice.

The top-ranked Djokovic published a video of himself training in Marbella on Monday, in apparent violation of Spain’s current rules amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Spain has eased some of the lockdown measures that have been in place since mid-March, allowing professional athletes to start training again individually. But most training centers and sports facilities must remain closed until next week.

The Spanish tennis federation says players are not yet allowed to practice on courts. The club says it was “sorry that our interpretation of the regulation could have been erroneous.”

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LeBron James promised the Class of 2020 something special for their virtual commencement celebrations, and he delivered.

James revealed Tuesday that former President Barack Obama will speak during the one-hour special, “Graduate Together: America Honors the High School Class of 2020.” It will air simultaneously on NBC, ABC, CBS and Fox on May 16 at 8 p.m. EDT.

“You all worked so hard the past four years and deserve the best commencement we can bring to you and your family,” James tweeted Tuesday when making the announcement.

The event will pay tribute to high schoolers graduating this year. “Graduate Together” will also air on TikTok, Facebook, YouTube, Complex Networks, PeopleTV and other digital platforms.

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The NBA will hold its fourth annual Jr. NBA Leadership Summit on May 15, a three-hour event headlined by a conversation between three-time NBA champion Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors and Basketball Hall of Fame honoree Doris Burke of ESPN.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver will also take part, along with NBA coaches Doc Rivers and Rick Carlisle, Hall of Famer Dawn Staley, and former surgeon general Dr. Vivek Murthy. Jay Bilas will host.

The theme throughout the event will be the effect the coronavirus pandemic is having on youth sports.

The virtual conference will be streamed on NBA.com and most of the league’s social network platforms.

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The Philadelphia Flyers and 76ers are set to offer refunds or credits for unplayed regular-season games at their shared arena because of the coronavirus pandemic.

While neither the NHL or NBA has officially canceled the remainder of the season, or decided when and where the season may resume, both organizations on Tuesday decided to address the ticket status for games scheduled for the Wells Fargo Center.

Flyers’ season ticket holders will receive a credit for the six unplayed home games, to be applied to their 2020-21 season payment due in June. They may also opt to receive a refund. Fans who bought single-game tickets will receive an automatic refund. All fans who purchased tickets through a secondary website, such as Stubhub, will need to contact that site for refund options.

The Flyers policy is on their website.

The Sixers outlined a similar process for their 10 unplayed games. There are rollover and refund options for season ticket holders and single-game holders can request a refund. The Sixers had suspended season-ticket payments during the pandemic and will resume payments on June 12. The team will work with any ticket holders affected with financial difficulties.

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The three biggest races in cycling will take place in a 72-day span and there will be an overlap of the Spanish Vuelta and the Giro d’Italia if competition resumes in August amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Tour de France’s start remains slated for Aug. 29 in the Riviera city of Nice. The season is now expected to end after the Spanish Vuelta on Nov. 8.

The Giro d’Italia will run from Oct. 3-25 and overlap with the Spanish Vuelta and prestigious one-day races Liege-Bastogne-Liege, the Amstel Gold Race, Gent-Wevelgem and the Tour of Flanders.

The Spanish Vuelta has already been cut short to 18 stages and will start on Oct. 20. That is five days before Paris-Roubaix.

The International Cycling Union says racing will resume on Aug. 1 with the Strade Bianche in Italy and be followed by the postponed Milan San Remo classic on Aug. 8.

Racing was suspended in March because of the pandemic.

The UCI says the dates “remain subject to the lifting … of the restrictions relating to the organization of events put in place by the authorities in the concerned territories.”

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The players and coaches on Spanish soccer club Eibar have released a statement expressing their concerns about restarting the season.

They say they are “afraid of starting an activity” in which they will not be able to comply with physical distancing.

They say they are concerned about getting infected and infecting their family members and friends and worry about the risk of another coronavirus outbreak because of soccer’s return.

They demand “guarantees” and “responsibility” and say the return to action should only happen when everyone’s health is prioritized.

The club itself did not appear to be involved with the statement.

Players from Spanish league clubs are expected to resume practicing this week and matches could restart sometime in June. All players, coaches and club employees must be tested for COVID-19 before training resumes.

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The European swimming championships have been pushed back to next year because of the coronavirus pandemic and will be used as preparation for the Tokyo Olympics.

The governing body of the sport in Europe says the championships have been postponed by exactly one year to May 10-23, 2021. They will stay in Budapest, Hungary.

The final day is two months before the scheduled opening ceremony of the postponed Tokyo Olympics.

The European event had been provisionally pushed back to August when the original dates were not possible because of the pandemic.

The championships include swimming, diving, open water swimming and synchronised swimming.

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The head of the three English professional soccer leagues below the Premier League appealed for a “rescue package” during questioning at a parliamentary select committee hearing.

English Football League chairman Rick Parry says clubs are facing a shortfall of about $250 million because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Parry says “we are heading for a financial hole of about 200 million pounds … by the end of September.”

Parry also advocated for salary caps. He told legislators that clubs are spending too much of their turnover on salaries as they chase promotion.

Clubs are preparing for the loss of ticket revenue with crowds potentially not allowed back into stadiums in 2020.

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The French Tennis Federation hopes professional players can resume individual training if the lockdown ends as planned on Monday.

FFT president Bernard Giudicelli says the protocol proposed was “favorably received by the sports ministry” and could lead to the resumption of training and other amateur activities.

Professional players would train on outside courts only at the national training center in western Paris or other approved training centers if approved. The national training center was made available for COVID-19 patients at the height of the virus outbreak.

Social distancing will remain in place with all staff on site obliged to wear protective masks. Players will not be required to wear them under the proposed guidelines.

All players must arrive alone and in their tennis gear and with their own rackets. Players will have a maximum of six balls and must serve only with their marked balls. All participants must keep their towels inside a bag throughout their stay.

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Second-division German soccer club Erzgebirge Aue has put its entire squad in home isolation after a member of staff tested positive for the coronavirus.

It’s the first confirmed case in the German league’s second round of testing. It comes a day before a government meeting on loosening lockdown measures to pave the way for soccer to return in empty stadiums.

Aue didn’t name the staff member involved. All players, coaches and backroom staff will stay at home ahead of more coronavirus testing on Thursday.

Ten people tested positive last week from the 36 clubs in the top two men’s divisions. That included two Cologne players and a staff member. The club did not put its squad in isolation.

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Belgian soccer players and their fans are engaging in a virtual wave to support health care workers and raise money for the Red Cross amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Belgian soccer association is encouraging fans to upload short videos of themselves doing the wave. Just like Belgium internationals Dries Mertens, Thomas Meunier and Jan Vertonghen.

The association is giving fans the opportunity to upload videos until June 13. That is the date Belgium was set to play its first game at the European Championship. The tournament was postponed by a year because of the pandemic.

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Health Minister Jens Spahn has defended German soccer’s plans to resume the season with regular coronavirus testing after Hertha Berlin forward Salomon Kalou posted a video flouting social distancing measures.

Spahn tells Germany’s Deutschlandfunk radio that “the basic concept makes sense and can also be an example for other pro sports.”

Hertha suspended Kalou on Monday after he live-streamed a video of himself greeting teammates with physical contact and bursting in on a teammate’s coronavirus test.

Germany’s top two soccer divisions are planning to return this month with a program of regular testing for players. The clubs have also asked players to train in small groups until now and to observe social distancing.

There were 10 positive tests from coronavirus samples taken last week from the 36 clubs in the top two divisions.

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