Following is a summary of current sports news briefs.
LeBron talks about virus' impact on NBA in podcast
Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James shed light on a variety of topics facing the NBA should it attempt to resume the 2019-20 season later this year. Appearing on the Road Trippin' podcast, James expressed concerns for NBA players competing against someone who was diagnosed with the coronavirus.
'Virtual' WNBA Draft to be held April 17 as scheduled
The "virtual" WNBA Draft will go on as scheduled April 17 with precautions in place to minimize health risks during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert's announcement of all picks will air live on ESPN2. Top prospects will take part remotely, a plan similar to what has been disclosed by the NFL for its player draft six days later.
IOC working toward July-August Olympics in 2021: Yomiuri
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is working with sports bodies to arrange a July-August window for the postponed Tokyo Olympics in 2021 and hopes to confirm the schedule within a month, Japan's Yomiuri newspaper reported on Thursday. John Coates, the IOC's Coordination Commission chief for Tokyo, told the Yomiuri the Games would have to be held between the tennis Grand Slams of Wimbledon, slated to end in mid-July, and the U.S. Open, which starts in late August.
Avalanche player tests positive for coronavirus
An unidentified Colorado Avalanche player tested positive for the coronavirus, the team announced Thursday. Per the Avalanche, the player has been at home in isolation since the symptoms appeared and has since recovered.
On canceled Opening Day, Manfred confident MLB will be back
On the day the 2020 Major League Baseball season was supposed to begin, commissioner Rob Manfred vowed the game would return as part of the recovery from the grips of the coronavirus pandemic. "The one thing I know for sure is baseball will be back," Manfred said. "Whenever it's safe to play, we'll be back. Our fans will be back. Our players will be back. And we will be part of the recovery, the healing in this country, from this particular pandemic.
Six contract coronavirus after London Olympic qualifiers
Organizers of a suspended Olympic boxing qualifying tournament in London hit back at accusations of irresponsibility on Thursday as the number of competitors and coaches testing positive for coronavirus grew to six. The Croatian federation said three team members had contracted the disease, a day after Turkey reported positives for two boxers and a coach.
MLB draft reportedly moved back to July
Major League Baseball plans to delay its annual draft at least one month to July. ESPN reported the draft is likely to be shortened with bonuses deferred due to uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus.
Coronavirus is a threat to young people too, U.S. official Fauci tells NBA star Curry
Some young and healthy people in the United States who have contracted the new coronavirus are becoming seriously ill, the top U.S. official on infectious diseases, Anthony Fauci, told NBA star Stephen Curry in an interview on Thursday. Many falsely believe the virus, which has killed more than 1,000 people in the United States, is only a threat to the elderly and those with underlying health conditions, Fauci told the basketball player in a live interview aimed at reaching a younger audience via social media.
South Korea wants age limit raised for 2021 football tournament
South Korea's football association on Thursday called on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to raise the age limit for the Tokyo Games in 2021 to ensure those players who helped their teams qualify are still eligible to compete. The Olympic men's football tournament is restricted to under-23 players. For 2020, players born on or after Jan. 1 1997 are eligible, while squads can also include three players over the age of 23.
Indianapolis 500 postponed to August due to coronavirus
The Indianapolis 500, one of the world's biggest single-day sporting events with an estimated crowd topping 350,000, has been postponed until Aug. 23 because of the coronavirus pandemic, IndyCar said on Thursday. The crown jewel of American open-wheel racing, which is traditionally staged each U.S. Memorial Day weekend at the famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS), was originally scheduled to be run on May 24.