- Associated Press - Saturday, April 11, 2020

OLYMPICS

TOKYO (AP) - As the coronavirus spreads in Japan, the chief executive of the Tokyo Games said Friday he can’t guarantee the postponed Olympics will be staged next year - even with a 16-month delay.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe issued an emergency declaration this week to battle the virus, putting the country under restrictions after it seemed it had avoided the spread.

“I don’t think anyone would be able to say if it is going to be possible to get it under control by next July or not,” Tokyo organizing committee CEO Toshiro Muto said. ”We’re certainly are not in a position to give you a clear answer.”

The Olympics were postponed last month with a new opening set for July 23, 2021, followed by the Paralympics on Aug. 24.



MOSCOW (AP) - International authorities should “turn a new page” and forget Russia’s Olympic doping ban because of the coronavirus pandemic, the country’s sports minister said Friday.

The World Anti-Doping Agency barred Russia from the Olympics for four years after ruling last year that doping data from a Moscow laboratory had been manipulated. The Court of Arbitration for Sport is to rule on whether the ban is valid, but hearings have been delayed because of the health crisis.

Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin said the virus outbreak means the parties in the legal proceedings should avoid a ruling against Russia because it would fracture the Olympic movement.

XFL

The XFL suspended operations and laid off its employees.

XFL workers were told of the layoffs during an in-house conference call Friday.

After canceling the remainder of its season last month because of the coronavirus pandemic, but promising to be back in 2021, the upstart league backed by WWE has left its future in doubt.

League executives said they expected to be back next year soon after canceling their games. The XFL has eight franchises and played five games out of a planned 10-game schedule. It drew decent TV ratings early on and had deals with ESPN and Fox.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) - Duke freshman Vernon Carey Jr. is entering the NBA draft.

The 6-foot-10, 270-pound Carey announced his decision Friday following a season in which he was The Associated Press player of the year and newcomer of the year for the Atlantic Coast Conference. He was also a second-team AP All-American while being named national freshman of the year by the National Association of Basketball Coaches and the U.S. Basketball Writers Association.

Carey had been considered a likely one-and-done prospect and projected first-round pick. He averaged team highs of 17.8 points, 8.8 rebounds and 1.6 blocks while shooting 57.7% as a physical inside presence.

SWIMMING

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - The U.S. Olympic swimming trials have been rescheduled for June 13-20, 2021 in Omaha, Nebraska

USA Swimming announced the new dates Friday.

The trials were initially scheduled for June 21-28 in a temporary pool at the CHI Health Center Omaha, the 17,560-seat downtown arena that will host the event for the fourth straight quadrennial.

The trials are the sole qualifier for U.S. Olympic team, with the top two finishers in each event earning a trip to Tokyo. The original 15-session, eight-day schedule will remain for the rescheduled trials.

HORSE RACING

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - A quarter horse trainer whose combined earnings over a decades-long career total nearly $13 million has been hit with a hefty fine and a 34-year suspension for several doping violations.

Documents obtained from the New Mexico Racing Commission show the violations involved horses that tested positive while at Ruidoso Downs in southern New Mexico. The out-of-competition testing occurred in July 2019.

The horses - all owned by Jose Fabian Hernandez of Jarrell, Texas - tested positive for the medication ostarine. The drug is not approved by the FDA, but sites that sell it bill it as an oral solution that promotes muscle growth.

Under the commission’s ruling, Bobby Martinez faces fines totaling $480,000 and he won’t be eligible to apply for a state license until 2054.

COURTS

NEW YORK (AP) - A federal judge denied a request by the former head of South American soccer to be given compassionate release from prison because of the new coronavirus pandemic but reserved judgment Friday on his request for to be let out on bail pending his appeal.

U.S. District Judge Pamela K. Chen in Brooklyn said Juan Ángel Napout had not exhausted his administrative remedies with the Federal Bureau of Prisons in seeking compassionate release.

Napout was convicted in December 2017 of accepting bribes, and his lawyers moved to reduce Napout’s sentence to time served or to let him to serve the next six months at his condominium in South Florida or for release until the appeal is decided.

Napout, who turns 62 on May 13, is serving a nine-year sentence and is scheduled for release on Aug. 9, 2025.

OBITUARY

Tom Webster, the former NHL and WHA forward who went on to coach the New York Rangers and Los Angeles Kings, died Friday. He was 71.

The Carolina Hurricanes announced Webster’s death. Webster scored 53 goals and helped the franchise - then the New England Whalers - win the World Hockey Association’s first title in 1972-73. He also was an assistant coach in Carolina.

Webster had 33 goals and 42 assists in 102 career NHL games with Boston, Detroit and California. Webster then jumped to the WHA, where he had 220 goals and 205 assists in 352 WHA games in six seasons with the Whalers.

Webster was hired in 1986 to coach the Rangers, but developed an inner-ear infection that left him unable to fly. He resigned in April 1987. He took over the Kings in 1989, and led them to their first division title. He was 115-94-31 in three seasons with the team.

TORONTO (AP) - Pat Stapleton, the former NHL defenseman who famously kept an air of mystery over whether he possessed the puck from the winning goal of the 1972 Summit Series, has died. He was 79.

The Strathroy Rockets, a Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League team with which Stapleton was involved, said on its website he died Wednesday night. No cause was given.

Stapleton was on Canada’s Summit Series team in 1972 and is alleged to have claimed the puck from Paul Henderson’s series-winning goal over the Soviet Union.

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More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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