NBA

Coronavirus: NBA tests reveal 16 players have COVID-19

By Sports Desk June 26, 2020

Sixteen NBA players have tested positive for coronavirus from the latest round of tests, the league has announced.

The results of Tuesday's COVID-19 tests on 302 players were released on Friday in a joint statement from the league and the National Basketball Players Association.

The statement said: "Any player who has tested positive will remain in self-isolation until he satisfies public health protocols for discontinuing isolation and has been cleared by a physician."

The news comes just over a month before the NBA plans to conclude the 2019-20 regular season and playoffs with a 22-team tournament in Orlando, Florida.

With numbers of new COVID-19 cases rising in the USA, including in the home states of franchises included in the 22-team format, some concern has arisen about the NBA's plan.

Arizona, Texas and Florida have been hit particularly hard in recent weeks.

The league is currently in a testing and transaction window, which allows teams to add free agents before rosters are set on July 1.

Training camps are scheduled to begin on July 9, and the NBA plans on resuming the regular season on July 30.

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  • Coronavirus:  Former NL MVP Posey opts out of 2020 MLB season Coronavirus:  Former NL MVP Posey opts out of 2020 MLB season

    San Francisco Giants star catcher Buster Posey will not play in the upcoming MLB season, he announced on Friday.

    Posey, the 2012 National League MVP, is the latest high-profile player to opt out of a campaign that has been shortened by the coronavirus pandemic.

    The 33-year-old told reporters on a conference call he and his wife have adopted twin girls that were born prematurely and are still hospitalised, making him uncomfortable taking any additional health risks that could come about from travelling and playing games.

    The six-time All-Star had missed three recent team workouts for what the Giants said were personal reasons. 

    "I just feel like in the current state we are now, and these babies being as fragile as they are for the next four months at minimum, this ultimately was not a difficult decision for me," Posey said.  

    A team statement said: "The Giants fully supports Buster's decision. Buster is an integral part of our team and will be sorely missed, but we look forward to having him back in 2021." 

    Posey will forfeit around $8million of his prorated salary by choosing not to play. He is under contract in 2021 with the Giants holding a $22m club option for 2022. 

    He joins Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher David Price, Colorado Rockies outfielder Ian Desmond, outfielder Nick Markakis and pitcher Felix Hernandez of the Atlanta Braves, infielder Ryan Zimmerman and pitcher Joe Ross of the Washington Nationals, and Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Mike Leake as notable players who have chosen to opt out. 

    Posey is coming off the worst offensive season of his 11-year career, batting .257 with seven home runs and 38 RBIs in 114 games, but is the only catcher on the Giants' 40-man roster with extensive major league experience.

    San Francisco do have a top prospect at the position in Joey Bart, but the 23-year-old has never played above Double-A. 

  • Coronavirus: MLB announces 83 COVID-19 cases since intake testing Coronavirus: MLB announces 83 COVID-19 cases since intake testing

    MLB released its coronavirus test numbers from the first week of training camp, including 66 new cases from intake testing as players arrived at their home ballparks.  

    Seventeen more new cases were discovered in monitoring testing, which screens players every other day and staff at least twice per week.  

    Among the 83 positive tests since the league started its protocol are 71 players and 12 staff members from 28 different MLB clubs.  

    The 66 cases from intake testing represent a 1.8 per cent positive rate, while the 17 positive tests from monitoring – which includes testing people multiple times – are just 0.2 per cent of tests administered since teams started workouts.  

    Some in the league – including Washington Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo and Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant – have been critical of MLB's inability to test as often as planned and deliver timely results.  

    Some notable players who have made their positive cases public are Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman, New York Yankees infielder DJ LeMahieu, Colorado Rockies outfielder Charlie Blackmon, Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez and Texas Rangers slugger Joey Gallo.  

    The announcement comes on the same day that San Francisco Giants star catcher Buster Posey said that he plans to sit out the 2020 campaign.  

    Posey is perhaps the biggest name on a growing list of players opting out which includes Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher David Price, Rockies outfield Ian Desmond, Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Mike Leake and Atlanta Braves outfielder Nick Markakis.  

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    Wimbledon has been praised for its "amazing" decision to pay players £10million from a prize money pot despite the 2020 tournament being cancelled.

    The All England Club (AELTC) had pandemic insurance, meaning its decision to call off the championships in April was not one that risked becoming a huge financial blow.

    It was revealed on Friday that 620 players would benefit, based on world rankings, potentially handing a lifeline to lowly players from across the world who may be struggling to make ends meet.

    Wimbledon is paying out £25,000 per competitor to 256 players from the men's and women's singles, and £12,500 to a further 224 players who would have taken part in qualifying.

    Doubles players and those from the wheelchair events will also collect money from the fund, with Wimbledon stressing there would be only one payment per player, meaning there could be no claims for multiple events.

    Three-time US Open champion Kim Clijsters wrote on Twitter: "Amazing news — always a class act and leader of our sport!! Well done @Wimbledon – can't wait to be back next year!"

    Clijsters, 37, was in the early stages of a comeback after seven years in retirement when the COVID-19 outbreak led to tennis being suspended across the globe.

    The Belgian is a two-time Wimbledon semi-finalist who would have almost certainly received a wildcard into this year's tournament.

    Spain's Paula Badosa, the world number 94, indicated what the windfall would mean to rank-and-file players.

    "Such a nice gesture @Wimbledon on these tough moments. Means the world for us, thank you," Badosa wrote.

    Wimbledon said its decision was taken "in the spirit of the AELTC's prize money distribution in recent years".

    This year marked the first time Wimbledon had been called off since World War II. Its finals would have been contested this weekend.

    AELTC chief executive Richard Lewis said: "Immediately following the cancellation of the championships, we turned our attention to how we could assist those who help make Wimbledon happen.

    "We know these months of uncertainty have been very worrying for these groups, including the players, many of whom have faced financial difficulty during this period and who would have quite rightly anticipated the opportunity to earn prize money at Wimbledon based on their world ranking.

    "We are pleased that our insurance policy has allowed us to recognise the impact of the cancellation on the players and that we are now in a position to offer this payment as a reward for the hard work they have invested in building their ranking to a point where they would have gained direct entry into the championships 2020."

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